Students graduating from Montclair State University’s College of the Arts go on to pursue successful careers as actors, dancers, directors, choreographers, technicians, producers, filmmakers, teachers and arts administrators, among others. Among them is Scott Schneider, who graduated with a BFA in Design and Technical Theater in 1990.
Schneider is currently the owner and president of Full Production Services (FPS), a special event-production company based in South Jersey. FPS’s projects range from weddings to celebrations for hundreds to grand-scale corporate and industry events for thousands, both locally and globally. Some notable events and clients include the NFL Commissioner’s Super Bowl parties and the Pope’s 2008 Visit to Yankee Stadium. FPS has provided technical-production services for the Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phantoms and the Philadelphia Soul sports teams. Schneider has also worked with celebrities, including Larry King, Lennox Lewis and pop star Donna Summer, with whom he has worked for nearly two decades and for whom he is currently serving as tour and production manager.
Despite the demands of his profession, Schneider stays true to his roots by giving back to the community in offering his services to his church, local high school and college alma mater.
Prof. Lori Katterhenry, deputy chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, said Schneider was eager to offer his production expertise to the department’s productions almost as soon as he enrolled.
“Scott Schneider was a wonderful, talented student in production design who took an interest in lighting for dance early in his studies,” Katterhenry recalled.
In fact, Schneider is back working with the department on upcoming shows.
Prof. Michael L. Allen, deputy chair of Production in the Dept. of Theatre and Dance, noted Schneider’s involvement as an alumnus predates his own arrival at Montclair State a decade ago.
“He worked with the dean's office setting up the fund-raisers for TheatreFest, the professional theatre company that was in residence till 2004,” Allen recalled.”He also worked in setting up the décor for the President's fund-raiser held in the Student Center ballrooms for several years as well.”
In addition, Allen said Schneider has proven to be an invaluable resource for the department and its students.
“Scott has access to some of the latest high-tech equipment on the market,” Allen explained. “He has been instrumental in allowing us to rent lighting equipment at a considerable discount price to use in some of our productions over the years. In addition, he wanted to take the opportunity to bring in a full complement of equipment and train our students on programming and how to use the equipment. He has also offered to come back and do workshops and master classes in the use of high-tech lighting equipment whenever we would like him to come in.“
Scott also mentors and employs up-and-coming professionals in the field of theater and production. Allen said Schneider has been generous about giving enrolled students at Montclair professional experience.
“Scott has hired various students of ours to work on various projects over the years and they have all returned to Montclair State more knowledgeable from the experience,” Allen said.
Both Katterhenry and Allen applauded Schneider not only for his career success, but also his commitment to give back to his alma mater. Allen said Schneider helps raise the bar for the quality of education afforded at Montclair State.
For all his contributions to Montclair State, Schneider is this year’s recipient of the College of the Arts’ Leonardis Distinguished Alumni Award. Named for Tom Leonardis, an esteemed alumnus, the Leonardis Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the accomplishments of alumni who have gone on to achieve significant success. It was awarded to Schneider at the College of the Arts’ Convocation on May 14.