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 8 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


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

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: 2023–4 season

Audience: ages 10 years and up