Citing the international success of Disney Theatrical productions — including a total of 12 productions now playing around the world — Walt Disney Studios chairman Peter Schneider and DTP president Thomas Schumacher announced two major executive promotions on April 12.
Schneider and Schumacher have promoted Stuart Oken to DTP executive vice president and Alan Levey to DTP senior vice president. Oken has been with DTP since 1995 and was the company’s senior vice president of creative affairs. Levey joined DTP in 1997 as a vice president and had served as company general manager.
According to Disney’s statement on the promotions, Oken and Levey have been involved in the development and production of all DTP projects and “oversee the day-to-day operations of DTP.”
Before Disney, Oken owned the Apollo Theatre Center in Chicago. A producer there, he also was the producer at the Chicago Theatre Project which staged nine world premiere stage plays and musicals in a joint venture with Paramount Pictures. After moving to Los Angeles, he produced the feature films “About Last Night,” “Impromptu” and “Queens Logic” and later served as Witt-Thomas Films’ president before coming to Disney.
Levey’s career dates back to 1973 and involves management and production positions with a strong theatrical focus. The managing director of the California Shakespearean Festival for three years beginning in 1979, he later worked at the La Jolla Playhouse in the same capacity. There, he was credited with organizing the company’s rebirth. During his La Jolla tenure, Levey and his team successfully moved Big River, A Walk in the Woods and The Who’s Tommy to Broadway. Under Oken, Levey, Schneider and Schumacher, seven-year-old DTP has accomplished significant success in theatre. In addition to tours and other productions, the company runs three Broadway shows, Aida, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King as well as its first new musical outside the United States, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame (based on the film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”) which is in its second year in Berlin. Establishing a home for its Julie Taymor directed hit, The Lion King, the Walt Disney Company completely restored the New Amsterdam Theatre on W. 42 near Times Square. This project helped boost the commercial allure of the Theatre District and is considered a milestone in the revitalization of Broadway.
—By Murdoch McBride