WP Presents Series

About WP Presents!

WP Presents! strives to bring to campus high caliber touring artists across a range of disciplines including acoustic and world music, contemporary folk music, theatre, dance, family programming and other eclectic fare. The series is built on a foundation of excellence and continuously seeks innovative programming to serve the campus, and the community.

A multitude of artists including David Crosby, Graham Nash, Lucinda Williams, DMC, Los Lonely Boys, Wanda Sykes, Paula Poundstone, Dar Williams, David Bromberg, Roy Haynes, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Ventura, The 5th Dimension, Judy Collins, Southside Johnny, John Sebastian, Jim Messina and Dark Star Orchestra have graced our stage.  We have presented works from national theatre tours of The Second City, Moscow Ballet, Aquila Theatre Company, American Place Theatre, TheaterWorks USA, Vital Theatre, and the National Theatre of the Deaf. Family Performances have included participation in New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Stages Festival, and sensory friendly productions presented by a variety of artists and theater companies. Many of our visiting artists conduct educational outreach programs, for both the community at large and the University.

Watch Highlights from the 2021-22
Performance Season

  • Literature to Life’s Staged Adaptation of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
    Mar 29, 2023 @ 10:30 AM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    By Junot Díaz
    Adaptation and Direction: Elise Thoron
    Performed by Kelvin Grullon

    This thrilling adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel chronicles the life of Oscar, an overweight science-fiction enthusiast who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien. Encapsulating magical realism and Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents audiences with an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere, and risk it all in the name of love.

     The Story

    Oscar de Leon is an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson, N.J. who obsesses over science fiction, fantasy novels, falling in love, and the curse that has plagued his family for generations. Despite the endless taunting from friends, family, and foes, Oscar remains true to himself, as the family curse declares its power and the violence of Oscar's family history collides with his present.

     In Performance

    This Literature to Life presentation features the delicately brutal words of Junot Díaz, detailing the life-long alienation of the love obsessed Oscar as narrated by his unlikely friend, Yunior. Through this 60 minute exploration of brotherhood, fantasy stories, and what it means to be a “Dominican man”, we come to understand the culture of fear and violence that resulted from Trujillo's 30+ years dictatorship of the Dominican Republic, and the importance of facing fear with love.

    Appropriate for: high school, college, and community audiences

    Please note: this title contains mature content and language.

    Free admission. Tickets are not required but you must register in advance.


  • WP Asian Cultural Celebration The New York Korean Performing Arts Center
    Mar 30, 2023 @ 7:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    The New York Korean Performing Arts Center (NYKPAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, cultivating, and disseminating traditional Korean culture in North America. Established in 1986 as the Korean Traditional Arts Community, it later became the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association (KTPAA) in 1990. The organization received formal recognition as a non-profit in 1993 and has been receiving annual grants from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) since 1998. In 2010, KTPAA opened The New York Korean Performing Arts Center (NYKPAC), which has played an instrumental role in promoting Korean culture and fostering intercultural dialogue in American society. The group has been invited to perform at various venues, including Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, National Folk Festival, Hudson Museum, and many more.

    General Admission: $15
    Free admission for WP students and employees with ID (1 ticket per person)

    No discounts apply. 


  • WP Presents! • Brian Culbertson – The Trilogy Tour 
    Mar 31, 2023 @ 8:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    Over the course of crafting a 25-album catalog and architecting nearly 40 Billboard No. 1 singles as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Brian Culbertson has charted his own unique course in music. Label him jazz and he makes a funk record. Call him an R&B artist and he drops an acoustic jazz trio collection. Brand him pop and he creates a 32-minute New Age opus. And you’d be hard pressed to name another instrumentalist of his ilk who can mount an elaborately designed concert production that will keep him on the road for three consecutive months.  

    Culbertson burst onto the scene in 1994 with a chart-topping album that he recorded in his college apartment featuring keyboard-led contemporary jazz tracks. “Long Night Out” landed him a lengthy record deal and signaled that a star was born.  

    Flash forward to present day, Culbertson composed thirty songs that populate the three albums in “The Trilogy” that describes the three-part arc of a long-term relationship: the hot and steamy “falling in love” phase, the rocky middle when perhaps they even break up for a bit, and the couple reunites to live “happily ever after” phase.  The Trilogy Tour will feature a mix of songs from The Trilogy Albums, as well as the greatest hits from Brian Culbertson’s catalog.  

    “Hearing the three albums in a row provides the context.  All the songs on ‘Red’ (October 2021) were clearly about passion and love.  ‘Blue’ (January 2022) is melancholy and sad songs, breakup songs and ‘losing people’ songs.  Once you get to part three, ‘White’ (May 2022) is all about songs that have an uplifting feel to them.  Stylistically, they all feel similar even though they are emotionally broad” said Culbertson.  

    Possessing style, panache and a savvy business mind capable of moving the needle in music and beyond, Culbertson founded and curates the annual Napa Valley and Chicago Jazz Getaways, which have attracted guests from all over the globe to experience his premier events.  

    Whether you’re listening to music from “The Trilogy” on record or live in concert, you’re hearing an eclectic, entertaining and engaging set from an artist at the peak of his power.  

    Reserved Seating: Gold Circle $69 • VIP Gold $149 • Orchestra $59 • VIP Orchestra $139 • Front Loge $59 • Rear Loge $49 • Senior citizens and WP employees and alumni are eligible for a 10% discount by visiting the box office in person. No discounts will apply to VIP tickets.

     Description of VIP package:

    -One (1) Ultimate Seat Location

    -Invitation to Soundcheck Viewing

    -One (1) Signed Tour Poster

    -Crowd-Free Merch Access

     The VIP Package is sold by the Shea Center on behalf of 237Global. All inquiries regarding the package beyond your basic ticket should be addressed to info@237global.com. Please read the below carefully. Address any questions to info@237global.com

    All package elements will be rendered invalid if resold. Name changes will be issued at the sole discretion of 23/7 Global. VIP instructions will be sent via email no later than three days (3) prior to the concert. If you do not receive this email three days (3) prior please email info@237global.com. All packages and contents are non-transferable; no refunds or exchanges; all sales are final. All VIP package items and experiences are subject to change. Please note that the information provided at the time of purchase (e-mail and mailing address) is the same information that will be utilized for individual contact requirements where applicable. 23/7 Global, the artist, tour, promoter, ticketing company, venue or any other affiliated parties are not responsible for outdated or inaccurate information provided by the consumer at the time of purchase. If you have any questions regarding your VIP package elements, or have not received your package information within three days (3) of the concert date, please email info@237global.com.


  • WP Flutes and Friends Recital
    Apr 04, 2023 @ 7:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    The WP Flute Studio and friends present an evening of solo flute, flute ensemble, and woodwind chamber music


  • Blind Visionaries – The Multimedia Performance
    Apr 12, 2023 @ 7:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center

    See the world in a new way! Daniel Kelly is an innovative composer, pianist and conceptualist who has been called “stunningly original” with “a visionary imagination.” His ability to create multi-faceted works that brilliantly incorporate music with literature, visual art and journalism have captivated audiences across the country. He has an uncanny ear for music and storytelling and his deep sense of empathy and humanity make for performances that leave audiences uplifted and curious for more. 

    Daniel Kelly created Blind Visionaries because of his passion for the stunning images made by the blind and visually impaired photographers of The Seeing With Photography Collective at the Center for the Blind in Manhattan led by the Collective’s director, Mark Andres. Inspired by these incredible photos and the fascinating process of “light painting” used to create them, Kelly further developed his ideas that led to the creation of Blind Visionaries. Kelly poured through the entire body of work created by The Seeing With Photography Collective over four decades. From several thousand photos, he selected the 200 images featured in Blind Visionaries. With the photos selected, he created 10 different films that are projected onto the video screen during the performance of Blind Visionaries. Viewers are immersed into the stunning visual world of The Seeing with Photography Collective as the film delves into each photo, weaving, zooming in and out, and across different parts of each image to reveal the rich visual language and surreal world created by these extraordinary photographers.

    Kelly felt audiences would want to know more about these visually impaired photographers and how they could create such stunning photos with their limited ability (or complete inability) to see. He interviewed several members of the Collective and wove the recorded audio interviews throughout the performance. Audience members hear the photographers describe, in their own words, their personal experience of losing their sight and how they draw meaning from the process of creating photos which have been exhibited in galleries throughout the world. 

    Kelly then composed music that captures and amplifies the emotional quality of the photos, immersing the audience into a musical dialogue between the imagery in the photos and the compositions performed by his trio. Each performance includes a participatory segment where patrons are chosen to come on stage to create a photo with members of The Seeing With Photography Collective while the trio continues to play. The images are created on digital cameras, and the newly made photos are projected onto the video screen later in the performance, delighting audiences as they see themselves, their friends and neighbors transported into the captivating visual world they have been experiencing all throughout the performance. 

    The Seeing with Photography Collective 

    Exhibited in galleries around the world, the haunting and poetic images of The Seeing with Photography Collective are created by a group of visually impaired, sighted and totally blind photographers. They use a dynamic process called “light painting” which transports the viewer into their unique dream world of surreal portraits. The visually impaired or blind photographers work with a sighted assistant to create an image based on a vision in their mind’s eye. The results are riveting, dramatic images that have helped these artists to heal through their work. Coming from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, they share an awareness of sight loss, along with the determination to dialogue and integrate their images into a more universal context. The Collective’s work has been exhibited worldwide and can be seen in the book “Shooting Blind” published by Aperture. www.flickr.com/people/seeingwithphotography/

     Works from The Seeing with Photography Collective will be on display in the Shea Center lobby from March 1 – April 12. The Shea Center lobby is open Monday- Friday, 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. and one hour prior to performances.

     General Admission: $15;Free admission for WP employees, students, and alumni.  

    This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.



  • Sun Concerts presents Bee Gees Gold Direct from Las Vegas
    Apr 14, 2023 @ 8:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    John Acosta as Barry Gibb has performed in Bee Gees Tributes all over the world. His portrayal of lead singer Barry Gibb is with a zest for detail, like no other. From the look to the falsetto, you will close your eyes and say its Barry! John Acosta's Bee Gees Gold tribute Is the ultimate salute, and experience of seeing the Bee Gees in their prime, LIVE ONCE AGAIN! With the detailed vocal stylings of John Acosta (Barry) , Daryll Borges (Robin) , Jeff Celentano (Maurice) as the brothers Gibb, there is a sensation that will make you blurt out , Wow.. I just seen and heard the Bee Gees! Backed by a live band, the Vegas Bee Gees tribute recreates the look and sound of the Bee Gees from the 60's to the late 70's, with their unique falsettos that made them legends.

     Performing such early hits as "Massachusetts," "I Started a Joke," to the later Disco classics , "Stayin' Alive," you will be dancing the night away! 

    Reserved Seating: Orchestra $50 • Loge $46


  • WP Presents! & Jazz Room Series
    Dianne Reeves with Romero Lubambo

    Apr 16, 2023 @ 3:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    Five-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world. As a result of her breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Reeves received the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for three consecutive recordings – a Grammy first in any vocal category.

    Featured in George Clooney’s six-time Academy Award nominated Good Night, and Good Luck, Reeves won the Best Jazz Vocal Grammy for the film's soundtrack. Reeves has recorded and performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. She has also recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim and was a featured soloist with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. Reeves was the first Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the first vocalist to ever perform at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    Reeves worked with legendary producer Arif Mardin (Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin) on the Grammy winning A Little Moonlight, an intimate collection of standards featuring her touring trio. When Reeves’ holiday collection Christmas Time is Here was released, Ben Ratliff of The New York Times raved, “Ms. Reeves, a jazz singer of frequently astonishing skill, takes the assignment seriously; this is one of the best jazz Christmas CD's I've heard.”

    In recent years Reeves has toured the world in a variety of contexts including “Sing the Truth,” a musical celebration of Nina Simone which also featured Lizz Wright and Angelique Kidjo. She performed at the White House on multiple occasions including President Obama's State Dinner for the President of China as well as the Governors’ Ball.

    Reeves’ most recent release Beautiful Life, features Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway and Esperanza Spalding. Produced by Terri Lyne Carrington, Beautiful Life won the 2015 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. Reeves is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and the Juilliard School.  In 2018 the National Endowment for the Arts designated Reeves a Jazz Master — the highest honor the United States bestows on jazz artists. 

    Dianne Reeves
    Romero Lubambo

    Reserved Seating: Gold Circle $65 • Orchestra and Front Loge $55 • Rear Loge $45

    This concert is preceded by a “Sittin’ In” meet-the-artist session one hour prior to performance in Shea Recital Hall 101.
    Free to all ticket holders.  Audience members have a chance to meet and interact with that day’s artist in a question-answer format.


  • WP Presents! • Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses
    Apr 22, 2023 @ 8:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses are a boisterous, horn-driven, 10-piece New Orleans-style band known for their energetic performances that raise the roof and bring audiences to their feet. Their eclectic and rowdy style crosses several genres, from big band and swing to rock and blues, combining original music from their two albums with tail-shakin’ and foot stompin’ favorites from the five-decade career of Louis Prima Sr. With the band’s collective talents and diverse musical tastes, their shows have a sound that is unique while staying true to the vintage Prima style.

    Music critics have described Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses as “changing the face of ‘big band’ music by combining facets of swing, rock and soul and packing it into one giant punch,” “unafraid to breach the vast divide between the golden age of jazz and big band music and hard-hitting rock and roll” and taking “the robust, swinging jump-blues style of his father and [driving] it up a notch with a contemporary energy of his own.”

    Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses bring new energy and a current attitude to audiences with what has been called “the wildest show this side of the 60s.” The powerhouse band have recorded two albums, with a third one due out in 2022. “Return of the Wildest!” (2012) and “Blow” (2014) were both produced on the Warrior Records label and distributed by Universal Music Group. “Return of the Wildest!” features Prima Jr. and the band performing 10 Louis Prima Sr. classics with a razor-sharp rock-and-roll edge. “Blow” captures the energy and wild fun of a live show with 11 tracks including eight original songs written by Prima Jr. In its first week, “Blow,” which was recorded at Capitol Records, was the most-added album on American jazz radio and debuted in the CMJ Jazz Chart’s Top 25 and the iTunes’ Top 15 jazz.

    Prima Jr. is the son of legendary entertainer Louis Prima, known for his New Orleans-flavored music and lively performances. Prima had a career that spanned five decades and included record-breaking contracts to perform in Las Vegas where legends such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong would regularly jump on stage with the entertainer and his band. His popularity was so great at one point that he was asked to perform at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. His classic “Sing, Sing, Sing” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, he won the first ever Music Group Grammy for “That Old Black Magic” and his classic “Jump, Jive ‘an Wail” went on to start a swing revolution in the 90s.

    “Louis Prima Jr. ... [has] serious swing chops and dynamite entertainment value, just like his old man, without a doubt.... a New Orleans jazz-soaked trumpeter like his dad... Louis Jr. takes the Prima family lineage into the 21st century.” - The Philadelphia Inquirer

    “A rip-roaring, jump-jiving time....... The… swingster is more than just an entertainer. He plays a mean trumpet, as well as piano and drums, and emulates his father to a tee.” - NJ.com

    “This guy leads a band that makes the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy band sound like Kenny G in comparison.” - Jazz Weekly

    Louis Prima Jr.

    Reserved Seating: Gold Circle $50 • Orchestra and Front Loge $45 • Rear Loge $37


  • WP Wind Symphony featuring Dr. Timothy Newman
    Apr 23, 2023 @ 7:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    The WP Wind Symphony presents a concert featuring Dr. Timothy Newman, bass trombone, performing Eric Ewazen’s Concerto for Bass Trombone and Wind Symphony. In celebration of the 50th year of jazz at WP and the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Thad Jones, the Wind Symphony will also collaborate with members of the WP Jazz Orchestra to perform Jones’ only work for concert band.

    Other musical selections include Lightning Round by Kevin Day, March Tumbao by James David and Voices of Eve by Stephanie Berg


  • WP Presents! • Top Of The World: A Carpenters Tribute
    featuring DebbyTaylor

    Apr 30, 2023 @ 8:00 PM
    Location: Shea Center for Performing Arts

    Top Of The World is the world’s premier tribute to The Carpenters! Fronted by singer Debbie Taylor, her Karen Carpenter vocal resemblance is absolutely astonishing. She is backed by a seven piece band consisting of top-notch, professional industry musicians who have had amazing careers in their own right. The band members are all multi-instrumentalists and at times use 3 keyboards to recreate the incredibly complex arrangements created by Richard Carpenter. The attention to detail paired with saxophone, trumpet, flute and many more instruments complete every song to perfection!

    Top Of The World brings the most authentic versions of the Carpenters music to the stage. No doubt, you will be singing along as they perform hits like; “Close To You”, “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainy Days And Mondays”, “Please Mr. Postman” and “Yesterday Once More”, to name a few. Debbie captures the warm tones and contralto range that made Karen’s voice so unique. Sit back and enjoy as Debbie and her band take you on a nostalgic journey through the Carpenters greatest hits while sharing some of the backstories behind the music.

    Top of the World

    Reserved Seating: Orchestra $45 • Loge $40
    Senior and WP Community a 10% discount is available, please visit the box office.


The WP Presents! events are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.