The Faison Firehouse Theatre

The Faison Firehouse Theatre is home to American Performing Arts Collaborative, Inc. (A 501(c)3 not for profit organization) and Fais-One Productions. The full website is coming soon and can be found at Please scroll down and to learn more about the theatre and the current programs. Sincerely, George Faison

Monday, April 28, 2008

American Performing Arts Collaborative


George Faison

Tad Schnugg

Photographs by Jonathan Atkins

The Vision:
¨ Raise civic and cultural awareness through education and community outreach programs.
¨ Develop, produce and present original theatrical works.
¨ Serve as a magnet and “nerve center” where established and emerging artist can exchange ideas, create, perform, mentor and teach.
¨ Provide work experience based training for artists and apprentices in theatrical vocations.
¨ Become a state of the art theater embracing cutting edge audiovisual theater techniques and experimentation.
¨ Provide an accessible gallery for the exhibition of visual arts of all type and culture.

Our Mission:
To reclaim, restore and rebuild our youth and our community through art, dance, music, and theater. To promote and advance artists and multi-cultural visual and performing arts productions through a multi arts center that appeals to the universal nature of humanity.

The Goal: Create a viable and sustainable Cultural Arts Center that embraces artists and arts of all kinds.

Faison Harlem Renaissance Theater and Musical Series:

Embraces plays, musicals, dance performances, performance art and concerts that are an outgrowth and transformation of the
Harlem Experience.

¨ The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings
¨ The Welcoming Table
¨ Southern Journey s
¨ The Notorious E.B. Scrooge
¨ On Common Ground
¨ Heaven and the Homeboy,
The Musical
¨ Harlem Hot & Sassy

Developed to provide our underserved communities with top notch professional art and theatrical performances.

¨ Beneath The Streets Of New York
¨ If this Hat Could Talk
¨ Awakening
¨ Uncle Tom’s Children

Faison Youth Theater Series:

¨ The Respect Project ; A voice on teenage pregnancy , date rape, peer pressure, poverty, racism, illiteracy, gang violence and more through original dance, poetry, rap and spoken word created by NYC students. (see more below)

Fais-One Productions

See video of George Faison at the Tony Awards:

For more than thirty five 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 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 and Hinton 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. All of 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 Council’s Dance Mobile throughout the Harlem Community. 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 the 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 Don’t Bother Me, I Can’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); 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 for his choreography of the HBO special The Josephine Baker Story (1991).

In addition to his work in theater, George has staged concerts for and videos for many of the world’s greatest performers. Amongst those whom George has and continues to do work with are Ashford and Simpson, Melba More, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Roberta Flack, Stephanie Mills, Miles Davis, Natalie Cole, Weather Girls, Cameo, Glenn Jones, Betty Carter, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby.

Also, George has lent his talents commercial videos and trade shows. His clients includes Ford Motor Company, Lincoln-Mercury, AT&T, IBM, OTIS Elevators, GlaxoSmithKline, Peugeot, BMW, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Polaroid, AVON, and Coca-Cola.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The Respect Project is a performing arts based youth empowerment and performance project created by George Faison, the first African American choreographer to win the Tony award (The Wiz, 1976). After attending a workshop conducted by Professor Sara Lawrence Lightfoot in Cambridge, MA, based on her book “RESPECT”, George decided to apply the tenets and philosophy of Dr. Lawrence Lightfoot to the experiences of urban youth. Through writing, dance, music and theatre workshops led by Faison, Rhonda “Akanke’ McLean-Nur and other professionals, the participants mine their personal histories to create monologues, poems, dance, songs and spoken word pieces. The result is an entertaining theatrical production that tours New York City schools, juvenile detention centers, shelters, and community centers where it has been enthusiastically received and cited for its power, positive impact, relevance and artistic excellence.

The Respect Project weaves together such pertinent issues as teenage pregnancy, absentee parents, date rape, racism, poverty, peer pressure, illiteracy, cultural identity, community, gang crime and violence, in a way that allows youth audiences to see their own lives reflected in a moving theatrical, intellectually stimulating, thought-provoking production which leads to further exploration of the issues and desired discourse and discussion. Young performers and audience members discover their ability and responsibility to choose a positive life course and realize new approaches to coping with daily challenges. Follow-up workshops and online material help reinforce the lessons portrayed onstage.

Originally Posted March 13th 2008