Faison Firehouse Theater Founder Tad Schnugg Passes Away at 74
Tad Schnugg, the lifelong partner of Tony Award Winning Choreographer George Faison, passed away on Saturday January 13, 2018 in New York City at the theater they co-founded in 2000, The Faison Firehouse Theater. He was 74 years old.
In 1968 while visiting a friend in London, Tad Schnugg and George Faison met and have been inseparable since. On the invitation from Mr. Alvin Ailey, Mr. Schnugg was given the opportunity to work as the assistant to Ivy Clarke the General Manager of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Together, Mr. Schnugg and Mr. Faison in 1971, co-founded the Universal Dance Experience where the multi-talented Schnugg served as the Producing Director, Company Manager, Technical Director and Lighting Designer. The acclaimed dance company successfully toured the United States and the Caribbean from 1970-1975.
Later, Tad established the American Performing Arts Collaborative, a non-profit organization which mentors young people through community outreach called The Respect Project.
In 2000 he and George Faison purchased and renovated The Faison Firehouse Theater located in Central Harlem with their personal funds and the help of a couple of friends
Faced with both financial and political challenges of establishing a theater in Harlem, Tad Schnugg persevered and did not let disappointments and setbacks stop his commitment to the arts and his desire to work in the community
At the Faison Firehouse Theater, Tad began to produce entertainment and theater productions in the United States and Europe. He produced and co-produced: "American Jam Session" and "Star Show" in Monte Carlo and Deauville, France as well as major events for Peugot Automobiles, Bull Computers, Ford Europe and BMW in France and Belgium. His credits include "Sing Mahalia Sing," "Apollo, Just Like Magic...," "Golden Gate," "If This Hat Could Talk," "Harlem Opera Theater," "Three Mo' Tenors," "Harlem Summerstage," "Lotus Music and Dance," and "The Respect Project." He was associate producer for the NBC TV Special "Cosby Salutes Ailey" (1989). His latest creation in collaboration with his partner of 50 years included the critically acclaimed 40th Anniversary of The Wiz in Central Park and the upcoming musical, "Whitney Houston: The Last Interview" which will premier this spring.
Mr. Schnug is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Gerd and Uschi Schnug, his nephew Oliver Schnug and his lifelong partner, George Faison and his family.