Bard at Bell Works is an Outdoor Arts Festival of Shakespeare-Themed Performances 

bard at bell works
Courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

Celebrate William Shakespeare’s 457th Birthday this April with an exciting array of outdoor performances for all ages. The Bard at Bell Works is a collaboration of Bell Works of Holmdel, the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater and the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy—with a special presentation by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.


Monmouth County’s only professional ballet company, AXCBT, brings their highly-acclaimed ballet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Bell Works Outdoor Roof Deck*—April 11th, 4 pm • 16th, 6 pm • 17th, 6:30 pm • 18th, 4:30 pm • 24th, 3 pm & 25th, 5 pm.

Axelrod Performing Arts Academy students and professionals present excerpts from beloved ‘Bard-Inspired’ Broadway Shows, including West Side Story, Kiss Me Kate, and Something Rotten!—April 11th, 2pm • 17th, 3pm • 18th, 2:30pm • 23rd, 6pm • 24th, 5pm & 25th, 3pm.

Join Puck, Titania & Oberon, The Rude Mechanicals, and two pairs of Runaway Lovers in Shakespeare’s favorite comedic play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented by The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ—April 16th, 7:30 pm • 18th, 4:30 pm & 23rd, 7:30 pm.

Part of the New Jersey Theater Alliance’s Stages Festival, The Bard at Bell Works will run three weekends—beginning April 11 through 25—filled with dance, theater and music. The event was created by Gabriel Chajnik, director and choreographer of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater, Monmouth County’s only professional ballet company.

The festival offers three unique ways to experience Shakespeare’s immortal comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The first presentation of this whimsical, fairy-filled fable is AXCBT’s Midsummer, created by Chajnik. The second is a rollicking performance of the play by Madison, NJ-based The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

“I’m excited to see what Gabriel and the fabulous Axelrod family have up their sleeves. I know it will be amazing and I can’t wait to see it come together,” said Paola Zamudio, creative director of Bell Works. “Having this level of quality arts and culture at Bell Works is an essential element that helps us bring together our community, spread joy, and positive energy!” 

AXCBT professional dancers and the students of APAA will also present The Bard on Broadway—a revue of songs and scenes from Shakespeare-themed shows and the plays that inspired them, such as West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet), Kiss Me, Kate (Taming of the Shrew), and Something Rotten! (Hamlet). This showcase was created during a twelve-week session where pre-professional students were coached by APAA’s professional Broadway staff, including Brian O’Brien (Chicago), Ross Lekites (Disney’s Frozen), and Aaron Kaburick (Something Rotten!). Festivalgoers can also sample Shakespeare-inspired food created by Bell Market, daily pop-up performances, and short educational talk-backs regarding all things Shakespeare. 

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