Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Bud Coleman

Second Advisor

Amanda Giguere

Third Advisor

Lynn Nichols

Fourth Advisor

Jessica Hillman-McCord

Fifth Advisor

Laura MacDonald


This dissertation examines the production practices of Disney Theatrical Productions (DTP), the theatrical producing arm of the studio branch of the Walt Disney Corporation. Because of DTP’s unique position under the Disney umbrella, DTP functions differently than other producers of Broadway musicals. DTP is first compared to other theatre producers, then case studies of three productions are presented to illuminate the various production models that the company has employed in order to determine h Disney Theatrical Productions functions as an independent producer under the umbrella of a multi-billion dollar entertainment corporation.

Through an explanation of three case studies (The Lion King, Tarzan, and Newsies) this dissertation aims to define the ways in which DTP is creating a new model for Broadway Producers. By thoroughly investigating the company’s varied production models as well as the critical response to its Broadway musicals, this dissertation asserts that Disney Theatrical Productions has changed the landscape of American Musical Theatre.

Available for download on Friday, October 11, 2019