The Faison Firehouse Theater is home to the American Performing Arts Collaborative (APAC), Inc. a not-for-profit (501c3) organization co-founded by Tony Award Winner, George Faison and Tad Schnugg in 1997.
For more than forty years, George Faison has been a driving force in the theater as well as film, video, television, concert dance, concert staging, television commercials and trade shows. George is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important directors, choreographers and writers and is known for his uncompromising pursuit of artistic excellence and the production and nourishment of socially relevant art and artist. He has a keen eye for recognizing emerging talent such as S. Epatha Merkerson, Debbie Allen, Stephanie Mills, Phylicia Rashad, Eartha Robinson, Gary DeLoatch, Shedrack Anderson, Jackee andHinton Battle among others. George has stayed in tune with the pulse of the artistic community and the people that make up its audiences and his impeccable reputation has attracted a devoted national and international following. This while maintaining a deep bond with his roots through innovative education and community outreach initiatives. This tradition began in the early 1970s, when the George Faison Universal Dance Experience performed on the Harlem Cultural Councilâ€™s Dance Mobile throughout the Harlem Community, while also offering dance scholarships and free rehearsal space at the Universal Dance Center. Having himself benefited from the educational and training opportunities offered to him, he is committed to giving back to the community on a global level. Faison had the vision to convert a historical building in Central Harlem, NY into an organization with a serious mission to recognize the arts and cultural expressions as an integral aspect of human existence and impart their value and importance to our daily lives through the Faison Firehouse Theater initiatives.
George made his choreographic debut on Broadway with Donâ€™t Bother Me, I Canâ€™t Cope in 1972. In 1974, he choreographed The Wiz, the successful all-black musical retelling of The Wizard of Oz. Faison won a Tony Award for his choreography, a first for an African American in that category. George has choreographed and directed more than thirty plays and musicals, including the Broadway musicals Via Galactica (1973) and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (1976) with music by Leonard Bernstein; a Radio City Music Hall production of Porgy and Bess (1983) Tony Award Nomination; and Sing, Mahalia, Sing (1985)at the Shubert Theatre in Philadelphia. He also has worked in television, and in 1989 he conceived and produced the television special Cosby Salutes Ailey for the 30th anniversary of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He won an Emmy Award Nomination for his choreography of the HBO special The Josephine Baker Story (1991). In addition to his work in theater, George has staged concerts and videos for many of the worldâ€™s greatest performers. Amongst those whom George has and continues to work with areAshford and Simpson, Aretha Franklin, Melba Moore, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Roberta Flack, Stephanie Mills, Miles Davis, Natalie Cole, The Weather Girls, Cameo, Glenn Jones, Betty Carter, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby. Also, George has lent his talents to commercial videos and trade shows. His clients include Ford Motor Company, Lincoln-Mercury, AT&T, IBM, OTIS Elevators, GlaxoSmithKline, Peugeot, BMW, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Polaroid, AVON, and Coca-Cola and the French companies: Peugeot and Bull . It is from this incredible experience that Faison had the vision to convert a historical building in the Central Harlem Community into an organization with a serious mission to recognize the arts as an integral aspect of human existence and perpetuate their value and importance to our daily existence through the Faison Firehouse Theater.