Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Axelrod Launches the NJ High School AXE AWARDS

Laura Benanti Rallies Behind Jersey HS Seniors

Theaters are dark around New Jersey, but that’s not stopping the Axelrod from turning the spotlight on high school musical theater students by introducing the NJ High School AXE Awards.

The AXE Awards are an online singing competition for New Jersey high school performers whose musicals were “axed” by COVID-19. Thanks to our friends at Cabaret for Life

Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco,who named the awards, says, “This year will be a year no one soon forgets! The only thing more traumatic than the postponement of the Tony Awards and the Oscars is the disappointment of all of those high school thespians who will never get to play their roles on stage because their shows were ‘axed’ by COVID-19. These new awards will allow our talented New Jersey young actors to shine, and also give six fantastic winners scholarship money.”

Tony winner Laura Benanti is a well-known advocate for high school musical thespians. “As a Jersey girl, I want to wish all the best to all the entrants of the NJ High School AXE Awards. Jersey strong!” The NJ native won the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Stars Award for her performance at Kinnelon High School in 1997.

Laura Benatti Greeting

The finalists of the NJ High School AXE Awards will be announced on Friday, May 15. Online voting will run through May 29.

For more information on eligibility, categories and submissions, click below.

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Let's NOT Call the Whole Thing Off!

Tune in next Sunday, May 3, at 3 PM for a live "living room" concert with Dr. Jazz, Art Topilow, playing an hour of favorite Gershwin tunes on the piano. REGISTER HERE

'Dancing through Distancing'

AXCBT Free Virtual Workshops are a Hit with Students & Parents

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater Company, part of the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, is meeting a deeply desired need by providing a syllabus of multi-faceted, no-cost virtual dance and theater arts workshops. AXCBT has had impressive attendance and garnered thankful, rave reviews from students and parents.

Initiated by AXCBT's director/choreographer, Gabriel Chajnik, the company’s mission to offer ‘dancing through distancing’ has been joined by such renowned dance professionals as Michael Trusnovec of famed Paul Taylor Dance Company – hailed by The New York Times as “one of the world’s most luminous dancers”, Dylan Pearce, assistant choreographer of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, Gabriela Soto who is featured as a Shark Girl in Stephen Spielberg's highly anticipated WEST SIDE STORY, and Jessica Sgambelluri, Limón Dance Company member.

Perhaps even more impressive than the credentials of these heralded instructors is the fact that they have donated their time and talents for these free-to-the-public workshops as a way for the Axelrod Performing Arts Center and Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater to give back during these difficult times.

For a full list of virtual workshops, click below.

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