A New Musical


Concept and music by Phillip Palmer
Book by Jennie Redling
Lyrics by Stacey Luftig


When Efua Kuti is pulled from school and forced to marry, she flees her village in Ghana to pursue her dream: a college education. Guided by the spirit of her grandmother, she confronts life-threatening dangers, and in doing so, discovers her true strength.


A joyous tale of modern Africa with driving rhythms and rich vocal harmonies, this big, coming-of-age musical celebrates the promise within us all.


My Heart Is the Drum had its world premiere at Village Theatre from March 17 to May 22, 2016. The show was produced at Kent State University, and was also developed at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals; the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), and the BMI Lehman-Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.


Running time:
Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes, plus intermission


Cast size:

Band size:

"The story...is full of light, courage, hope, and even comedy; the music is gorgeous..."

— HeraldNet


“The lyrics were fantastic. Poetic, true to the characters, and inventive.”


—The Eastside Scene

"Set in Ghana in 2000, this promising musical features a yearning, percussive score by composer Phillip Palmer and a winning assortment of ballads and comic songs from lyricist Stacey Luftig."

— Seattle Times


"Promising new voice, gorgeous and authentic piece, love its African-induced score. Epic journey, big musical, transportive."

— National Alliance for Musical Theatre
2013 Festival Nomination Committee 



Welcome, Sun

A World Beyond Kafrona

Pretty Things

Your Heart Is the Drum


​© 2016 by Stacey Luftig.

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