By A. Curtis Farrow
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.
Schnugg and Faison met in1968 while visiting a friend in London and have been inseparable since. On an invitation from choreographer, Alvin Ailey, Schnugg honed his craft, working as the assistant to Ivy Clarke, General Manager of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
And in 1970 Schnugg and Faison founded the Universal Dance Experience where the multi-talented Schnugg served as producing director, company manager, technical director and lighting designer. The acclaimed dance company successfully toured the United States and the Caribbean from 1970-1975.
Responding to the needs of the community, Schnugg 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 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 the financial and political challenges of establishing a theater in Harlem, Schnugg persevered overcoming disappointments and setbacks to produced entertainment and theater productions at the Faison Firehouse Theater. His productions were show cased 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 Summer Stage,” “Lotus Music and Dance,” “The Respect Project and he was associate producer for the NBC TV Special “Cosby Salutes Ailey” (1989).
His latest creation in collaboration with his partner of 50 years includes 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.
Tad. Schnugg is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Gerd and Uschi Schnugg, his nephew Oliver Schnugg and his lifelong partner, George Faison and his family.