Drumming a Dream


Inspired by an ancient Indian folktale, Drumming a Dream is a groundbreaking coming-of-age musical about  an unusual relationship between a talking drum and young girl named Kalpana, and their adventures through a magical forest.

Aimed at audiences 10 years and up, this theatrical extravaganza uses the fundamentals of Indian dance and music alongside tap, jazz and contemporary forms, sharing the universality of rhythms as a powerful tool while dealing with questions of identity, inclusion, and empowerment.


The curious Kalpana dreams of a drum that communicates about the mysteries of life only to her. Enchanted by its powerful rhythmic language, she follows the drum’s calling into a mysterious forest (representing the metaphor of life) encountering strange and new experiences, sometimes frightening, sometimes confusing. At every turn she finds   deeper understanding through the people and places she encounters , bringing her closer to finding the talking drum. Is it her destiny? If we follow Kalpana, maybe we will know…

All photo credits: Stephen Charles Nicholson


Conceived and created by award-winning choreographer, Preeti Vasudevan, Drumming a Dream features a global cast of musicians and dancers to highlight the importance of curiosity, trust and empathy when encountering new situations, social customs, and taboos.




Creator/choreographer: Preeti Vasudevan
Composer/Carnatic vocalist: Roopa Mahadevan

Narrator: Max Pollak
Lead role (Kalpana): Ishita Milli
Ensemble: Four dancers/actors
Percussion: Mal Stein

Duration: 90 minutes

Proposed premiere: 2020-21 season

Audience: ages 10 years and up


Drumming A Dream was initially developed during Preeti Vasudevan’s 2018-19 LabWorks Residency, The New Victory Theater, NYC. 

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