A Play about the Death of Walt Disney That May or May Not Be About His Death

Fictionalized accounts of Walt Disney’s life are all the rage this season, so much so that even the Walt Disney Company is inventing random stories about its founder that are loosely based in fact.

On Monday, the Soho Rep in Manhattan will debut a new play written by Lucas Hnath called “A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney.” I haven’t found any reviews of the show, but the Wall Street Journal wrote that it “begins with a friendly greeting, but as [Disney] becomes ever more obsessed with his control of the narrative, he becomes less open with the audience, less appealing. He’s striving to dominate the truth.”

Character actor Larry Pine (House of Cards, Moonrise Kingdom, Oz) plays the role of Disney. It runs through May 26. The official show description:

Tonight Walt is going to read you a screenplay he wrote. It’s about his last days on earth. It’s about a city he’s going to build that’s going to change the world. And it’s about his brother. It’s about everyone who loves him so much, and it’s about how sad they’re going to be when he’s gone.

Right? I mean, how can they live without him? How can anyone live without him?

Artistic Director Sarah Benson directs the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s adrenaline-charged odyssey, a supersonic portrait of the man who forever changed the American Dream.

Set Design by Mimi Lien, Costume Design by Kaye Voyce, Lighting Design by Matt Frey, Sound Design by Matt Tierney, Props by Jon Knust, Choreography by Annie-B Parson, Special Effects by Steve Cuiffo, Production Stage Manager: Heather Arnson, Production Manager: BD White.

Featuring Larry Pine as Walt Disney, Amanda Quaid as Daughter, Brian Sgambati as Ron and Frank Wood as Roy.

(Thanks, Daniel Savage)


  • Nik

    Too bad none of these new projects are based on any actual research about Walt Disney other than reading snopes.com.

    • DarylT

      Exactly. And it irks me.

      • http://twitter.com/ChriSobieniak Chris Sobieniak

        Needless to say I wish it would all stop.

  • markLouis

    This could have been SO big if they had gotten Scarlett Johansson to play Ub Iwerks.

  • Chris Webb

    I’m tired of Walt Disney.

    The man’s dead, the story’s been told, and his studio has turned him into a mascot. They’ve dehumanized him, turned him into Mickey Mouse.

    Let’s have a little respect for the man and his accomplishments and let him rest in peace.

    • Natalie Belton

      Shhh, don’t tell people that. It would require them to think more.