Schumacher studied theatre at UCLA. In 1987, he was associate director of the Los Angeles Festival of Arts, presenting the American premiere of Cirque du Soleil and the English-language premiere of Peter Brook's The Mahabharata. Previously, he spent five years on staff at the Mark Taper Forum, served as a line producer on the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival, and served as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Ballet. He then joined the Disney company in 1988, producing the animated film, The Rescuers Down Under (released 1990). He was ultimately named President and oversaw some 21 animated features including The Lion King, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan, and Lilo & Stitch, as well as working closely with Pixar on their first five films.
He transitioned to solely focus on the growing theatrical business as its head. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Tony Administration Committee and the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. He is a mentor for the TDF Open Doors program and serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. In November 2012, Schumacher married his longtime partner, interior designer Matthew White.
Schumacher has worked with The Walt Disney Company since 1988, and currently serves as President of Disney Theatrical Group.
Schumacher is the author of the book How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theater (Disney Editions, 2007).
- Schumacher is the second producer to work on both an animated film and its remake, after Don Hahn. Schumacher is also the first producer to fulfill the same producing role in both an animated film and its remake, having executive-produced both The Lion King and its 2019 remake.
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