MEET OUR STAFF
Jess Levy, CEO
Jess Levy is the founding CEO of the Axelrod PAC and past Director of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Monmouth County.
He has produced concerts, community theater, film festivals, music festivals and major national programs throughout the region over the past thirty years. He has produced events that have included many top Broadway stars including Kelli O’Hara, Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jeff Blumenkrantz and Marin Mazzie, jazz concerts featuring stars John Pizzarelli, Jane Monheit, and Max Weinberg and classical concerts featuring Joshua Bell and NJ State Opera Company.
Jess has produced in venues including the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, and more.
As Executive Producer, his theatrical productions have included Into the Woods, Les Miserables, Oklahoma, Damn Yankees, South Pacific, Follies, Cabaret, Evita, Gypsy, RENT; many of which have received state-wide recognition, and most recently the Perry Award Best Production of a Musical winner West Side Story. Jess has collaborated with numerous groups in Monmouth County including Cabaret for Life and the Jewish Heritage Museum.
Andrew DePrisco, Artistic Director
Formerly an editor and publisher, Andrew DePrisco became the full-time Artistic Director for the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in 2015. He has been involved with the musical and theater scene in New Jersey for the past 30 years.
Having musically directed youth productions and musicals at the former Jewish Community Center of Greater Monmouth County (now the JCC Jersey Shore), he began producing the main-stage musicals at APAC in 2011. He directed two musicals for APAC, Into the Woods and Gypsy, nominated both times for Best Director of a Musical by New Jersey Association of Community Theaters.
Additionally, he was nominated for Perry Awards three times for Best Production of a Musical (42nd Street, Into the Woods and West Side Story) and won the award in 2014 for West Side Story (along with Jess Levy and José de la Cuesta). His 2012 Red Bank Catholic High School production of Into the Woods received sixteen Basie nominations (for excellence in high school theater) and won him awards for Best Director and Best Production of a Musical.
Andrew is also the founder and president of non-profit organization Cabaret for Life, Inc., which has produced musical revues and cabarets on the Jersey Shore for the past two decades. CFL has raised over $400,000 for over two dozen local charities: www.cabaretforlife.org
Gabriel Chajnik, Director - Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater
The founding director of the new Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater, Gabriel Chajnik was trained under the tutelage of Maestro Hector Zaraspe and is an alumnus of the Juilliard School.
Gabriel is a former dancer with American Repertory Ballet. His teaching credits expand from Argentina to Europe and the United States at Brooklyn Music School, Princeton Ballet, the Academy of Dance Arts and Gotta Dance in New Jersey. Gabriel’s work has been featured at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., Alice Tully Hall, the Clark Theater at Lincoln Center, MMAC, and the Lambs Theater.
Gabriel is also the Artistic Director for TranscenDanceGroup, whose TDG Holocaust Awareness performance has reached school students throughout the tri-state area. Gabriel has been honored by the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, & Warren Counties.