Anthem, With Music Based on Wartime Letters, Begins Performances Tonight in NYC | Playbill

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News Anthem, With Music Based on Wartime Letters, Begins Performances Tonight in NYC Firefly Jars Entertainment presents the new musical Anthem, commemorating the 200th anniversary of "The Star-Spangled Banner," beginning Aug. 8 as part of the 18th Annual NY International Fringe Festival.

Rachel Payne
Rachel Payne

Conceived by Rachel Payne, the work features music and lyrics by Adele Dodds Powers and Zak Sandler.

Matt Cowart directs a cast that includes Payne, Marissa O'Donnell, Matthew Paul Hill and Stephen Conrad Moore.

Here's how the musical is billed: "Exactly two hundred years ago Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to what eventually became our National Anthem. Americans today question why it has remained. They want to know why we sing it. In Anthem, four performers depict Americans from across time, sharing personal experiences gathered from actual letters written during times of war. They vary in time period and perspective. From the Revolution to Vietnam, Civil War and Desert Storm, protestor to Private, warrior to widow. Each song has an echo of our National Anthem, woven together as we remember the individual experiences of all of us."

Performances are offered Aug. 8 at 5 PM, Aug. 11 at 9:30 PM, Aug. 15 at 2 PM, Aug. 20 at 4:45 PM and Aug. 23 at 7:30 PM at Venue #12 Sheen Center – The Loretto.

Other members of the creative team include music director Nathaniel Granor and stage manager Rebecca Esquivel. Orchestrations are by James Stewart.

Sheen Center – The Loretto is located at 18 Bleecker Street (at Elizabeth). For more information and tickets, visit

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