Kent State School of Theatre and Dance produces new musical “My Heart is the Drum”

School received National Alliance for Musical Theatre grant to workshop production

Kent, OH – The School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University continues its 2014-2015 season with the production of new musical “My Heart is the Drum.” The production opens Fri., Feb. 20 and runs through Sun., March 1 in E. Turner Stump Theatre, located in the Center for the Performing Arts, 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent, OH 44242.

For tickets call 330-672-ARTS (2787), purchase online at or in person at the Performing Arts Box Office located in the Roe Green Center lobby of the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Drive, Mon. – Fri., Noon to 5 pm beginning Jan. 21, 2015.  Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for Kent State University alumni, faculty and staff, $14 for seniors (60+) and non-Kent State students age 18 and under are $10.  Tickets for full-time, Kent campus undergraduates are free of charge.  Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $12 per person.  The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks, and cash.

With book by Jennie Redling, concept and music by Phillip Palmer and lyrics by Stacey Luftig, “My Heart is the Drum” is a modern musical exploring a young woman’s dreams. When 16-year-old Efua Kuti’s dream of attending university is complicated by her arranged marriage, she worries she will never see the world beyond her small village in Ghana. Guided by her grandmother’s spirit, Efua finds herself in Ghana’s capital city and realizes that she will have to follow her heart and her head to persevere, survive and achieve her dreams.

“My Heart is the Drum” features African-influenced driving rhythms and rich vocal harmonies and was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in 2013. Kent State’s School of Theatre and Dance received a 2014 Writers Residency Grant from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, of which the school is a member, to bring the musical’s creators to campus to workshop the production. “My Heart is the Drum” was also developed in part at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals and was presented at Village Theatre's 2014 Festival of New Musicals in Issaquah, Washington.

“My Heart is the Drum” is directed by Terri Kent, professor and musical theatre coordinator and producing artistic director of Porthouse Theatre. The production and design team includes music direction by associate professor Jonathan Swoboda, choreography by assistant professor MaryAnn Black, lighting design by professor and acting associate dean Cindy Stillings, scenic design by Ben Williams, costume design by Susan Williams, technical direction by associate professor Steve Pauna, and sound design by Shane Cutlip and assistant professor Charles Korecki.

For more information on Kent State’s production of “My Heart is the Drum” please visit


Media Contact: Joni Koneval, 330-672-0116,

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2015 04:23 PM
Updated: Friday, March 24, 2023 12:16 PM
Joni Koneval