For Immediate Release:April 14, 2016
Media: Marylou Stephens, 602.889.5299
Press Photos:
Public: Phoenix Theatre, 602.254.2151

World Premiere Musical When You Wish:
The Story of Walt Disney Debuts at Phoenix Theatre

Phoenix, Ariz. – Explore the life and times of Walt Disney in the world premiere musical When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney!

Writer, composer and lyricist Dean McClure portrays Walt (Joey Sorge) as a dreamer who suffers setbacks but perseveres with the support of his business partner and brother, Roy (Andy Umberger), his friend Ub Iwerks (Matthew Malecki) and his adoring wife, Lillian (Sydney Marie Hawes).

The journey begins in 1906 with six-year-old Walt drawing cartoons at home and concludes with his biggest dream of all, the opening of Disneyland in 1955. Roy serves as the story’s narrator, taking us on a journey of struggle, heartache, and enormous triumph — these moments including the opening and bankrupt closing of Laugh-0-Gram Studios in Kansas City; the formation of Disney Brothers Studios in Hollywood; the marriage of Walt and Lillian Disney; the departure of his best and closest animator Ub Iwerks; and the creation of a mouse named Mickey, which ignited his career and the legacy that would forever be Walt Disney.

Be a part of the magic of seeing this new production come to life and celebrate the icon who brought us the most famous set of ears on earth. When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney opens May 18 and runs through June 12. Tickets start at $30 and are available for purchase by phone at 602.254.2151 or by visiting


The largest producing regional theatre company in Arizona, Phoenix Theatre offers more programs and experiences than any other. With over 400 performances on multiple stages and thriving education and outreach programs, more than 100,000 citizens are inspired every year.

A founding member of the Central Arts District, Phoenix Theatre is in its 96th season and is more committed than ever to advancing arts in the Valley. Phoenix Theatre is currently producing eight remarkable productions in the Mainstage Theatre and Hormel Theatre and the Caleb Reese Festival of New Plays and Musicals is in its 18th consecutive year.
Additionally, Phoenix Theatre’s outreach and educational programs continue to serve children and adults of all ages.

Inextricably woven into the fabric of Your City, Phoenix Theatre is Your Theatre. Every show or service provided is measured against our mission – to create exceptional theatrical experiences by using the arts to articulate messages that inspire hope and understanding.

Think harder, laugh more, and feel deeply!
Your City. Your Theatre.
100 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

News Articles

"'When You Wish' tells a true story of inspiration and perseverance."
Kerry Lengel, The Republic | 8:02 a.m. MST May 13, 2016

Arizona Life Style


Backstage Pass with Lia Chang


"A beautifully told telling of the life story of one of the greatest story tellers. I loved it!"

Richard M. Sherman, Disney Academy Award-winning Composer, quote from L.A. Workshop.

“Nominated for L.A. Stage Alliance
Ovation Awards"

  • Best Book for an original Musical
  • Best Lyrics/Music for an original Musical