Axelrod Performing Arts Center Partners With Bell Works To Offer In-Person Arts Education For Fall Semester

The musical theater track features Jenny Hill and Brian O'Brien .

By: Sep. 09, 2020

Axelrod Performing Arts Center Partners With Bell Works To Offer In-Person Arts Education For Fall Semester

Following the successful launch of the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy (APAA) this summer, parents can now look forward to a break from homeschooling their children with a dynamic, in-person arts curriculum at Bell Works in Holmdel.

"Countless parents are seeking safe 'in-person' opportunities for their children. While students are Zooming math, reading, and history lessons, it can't compare to the excitement of live performing arts classes," says Axelrod PAC Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco.

The program was originally a virtual summer experience curated by Gabriel Chajnik, director of the APAA and the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT). He notes that the Academy, "Breaks new ground in arts education during the COVID pandemic. Each six-week semester offers a comprehensive curriculum developed by talented professionals in the fields of dance and theater."

"Thanks to the support and guidance of AXCBT President Elise Feldman, the enthusiastic cooperation of BellWorks Developer Ralph Zucker and Creative Director Paola Zamudio, we are able to bring the arts back to our community in a safe and beautiful environment," says Chajnik.

The program returns in the form of two, six-week sessions of in-person classes beginning September 14 and October 26. It offers a multidisciplinary experience in dance and musical theater for students of all ages. Due to social distancing restrictions, the fall sessions have a limit of twelve per class, but there are also virtual options. Classes are six days a week with dance on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, and musical theater on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

"The faculty is a virtual galaxy of theater and dance celebrities," notes Feldman. "With Broadway dark and most major dance companies forced to cancel their seasons, the program features some of the world's brightest stars teaching live in the studio."

The dance track, led by Chajnik, will feature principal dancers from Julliard, Paul Taylor Dance, the New York City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey. Dance masterclasses will be led by Michael Trusnovec (Paul Taylor), Gilbert Bolden III (NY City Ballet), Gabriela Soto (West Side Story film), and Nicolas De La Vega and Dylan Pearce (Radio City Christmas Spectacular).

The musical theater track features New Jersey actors and Broadway veterans Jenny Hill (Seussical, Spamalot, Something's Rotten!) and Brian O'Brien (Chicago, Promises, Promises). Musical theater masterclasses will be hosted by Susan Egan (Tony nominee for Belle in Beauty and the Beast), Joanna Gleason (Tony winner for the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods), and Ross Lekites (from Frozen and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical).

The musical theater and dance tracks are available for students 12 and up, while the primary track offers musical theater lessons on Saturdays for young people, ages 5-6, 7-8 and 9-11. For 12 and up, in-person options are $300 to $875, and virtual are $175 to $500. Primary tracks start at $100 to $250 for a six-week semester. Registration begins online on September 1.

New and potential students are invited to an open house at Bell Works on Thursday, September 10, from 1 pm to 6 pm. In-person spots are limited. Full details and registration info at