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The Black Drum

The Black Drum

By Adam Pottle
Subjects: Prairie Playwrights, Saskatchewan, Community Theatre Picks, Large Cast, Political Theatre, Disability Theatre, Death, Grief, and Loss, Dance, Deaf Theatre, Musicals
Casting: 5 f, 2 m, 3 dancers
Imprint: Playwrights Canada Press
Paperback : 9780369104861, 64 pages, April 2024
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780369104885, 64 pages, April 2024
Ebook (PDF) : 9780369104878, 64 pages, April 2024


Hailed as the world’s first Deaf musical—told entirely in American Sign Language and Signed Music—The Black Drum revolves around Joan and her journey to healing after the death of her wife, Karen. Since Karen’s passing, Joan has been unable to share her music with the world, anguish snatching her desire to perform. Joan’s grief pulls her into a bizarre, black-and-white world where her two beautiful tattoos come to life as guides and together they confront a monster called the Minister. But the only way to defeat the Minister and begin to heal is for Joan to embrace her own voice.

An epic fantasy about grief and healing, The Black Drum questions the concept of music we are conditioned to believe, suggesting that music is not just something you hear, it is something you see and feel.


The Black Drum is a fairy tale that feels like Alice meets Dracula in a black & white wonderland—and sharing the music and love we carry in our hearts and bodies defeats the evil, at least for the moment.”

- Diana Manole, Mooney on Theatre

The Black Drum is a musical that resonates for both deaf and hearing audiences.”

- Debbie Fein-Goldbach, NOW Magazine

The Black Drum is, at its core, a ground-breaking piece of Canadian theatre for the Deaf community that will hopefully prompt other artists to come forward and share their stories and talents.”

- Isabella Perrone, Broadway World