Why do I sing the national anthem? Why do you?
ANTHEM is an exploration of the many lives, worlds and words whose shared and separate experiences are woven together, creating the fabric of our nation. Through this musical journey of identity and experience we are presented with original, dynamic, and uniquely American ideas and ideals.


ANTHEM is a four-part musical song cycle inspired by letters and stories of American soldiers and civilians during times of American history and conflict.
We feel their experiences, and may find they echo some of our own.



The characters portrayed in ANTHEM are intended to represent a wide variety of lives and experiences relating to war from an American perspective. Actors taking part in a production of ANTHEM change characters from song to song.
The same actor who portrays a private going to war in one song, may be a protestor trying to end it in another. Below is a brief description of the characters each actor will portray.


The Soprano plays an illiterate lover, an anticipating wife of an American Prisoner of War, a jaded sister of a newly enlisted World War II soldier, a mourning wife of a veteran experiencing post traumatic stress, and a widow.



The Alto plays a well-to-do woman lamenting her changes in fortune, a female attempting to pose as a male in order to join the war effort, a love-lorn girlfriend of a soldier trying desperately to hear those three magic words, a protestor of the Vietnam war, and a partner coming to terms with loss.



The Tenor plays a Confederate soldier sparring with his Union brother, an energetic young draftee, a starry-eyed lover excited to surprise his girlfriend with a gift, a soldier liberating a concentration camp, a contemplative soldier recounting a silent Christmas Day battlefield, a captain in Vietnam attempting to rally his unit while struggling with the war effort internally, and an enlistee preparing to serve in Afghanistan.



The Bass plays a soldier experiencing the beauty of spring contrast with the horrors of battle at Shiloh, a Union soldier sparring with his Confederate brother, a care-free bachelor draftee, an American Prisoner of War, a soldier liberating a concentration camp, and Veteran exploring the meaning of the flag for himself as an African-American.




Anthem Performance in NYC

A selection from an early performance of ANTHEM at the NYC Fringe Festival. For more information, or to request access to the full video, please reach out.



NY Theatre Guide calls
ANTHEM "a real American-made
winner of a musical"


“Finally, a musical in a festival that did everything 100% right. From the first strains of the music through the entire 65-minute journey, ANTHEM had everything going for it,” writes Lanes in his review of ANTHEM’s performances at the New York International Fringe Festival earlier in August. “I have no doubt that we will be hearing from this show again,” Lanes adds. "ANTHEM is perfect for schools, religious organizations and commercial theatres alike. With the voices represented in the letters, a soaring score, and a great cast and creatives, ANTHEM is a real American-made winner of a musical."

Read the full article here.




Rachel Payne


Rachel Payne is a classically trained Mezzo Soprano working in Opera, Film, and TV. She is currently producing ANTHEM, along with HOARDERS–a musical which takes you into the mind of some obsessive characters, and THE PETROPOLITAN, a new TV series that teaches children about classical music and opera performance. She has produced three albums; the forthcoming Animated series, NURSERYTALES and previously, MOURNING, and TWISTED FOLK. She also runs OPERATION OPERA, a podcast about contemporary opera performance and creating art that matters.

Adele Powers


Adele has worn many hats in the creation, education, and production of theatre. She received her BA in Drama from Ithaca College and her MA in Theatre from Northwestern University. She was the co-creator and director of THE FABLE COMPANY—an interactive, improvisational musical based on the fables of Aesop—at Desert Stages Theater, which ran four months and received the GetOut Spotlight Award for Best Youth Production. Adele and Zak have collaborated on many other ventures including THAT MUSICAL ABOUT A HELPER UNICORN and HAPPY CHALLAH DAYS.

Zak Sandler plays piano on Broadway for MEAN GIRLS, and has played on Broadway for WICKED, MOTOWN, and THE COLOR PURPLE. He was a composer at the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern, and won the Fenno Heath Award for writing a new Yale song. His work has appeared at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, the Triad, and Signature Theatre (VA). He is creating a musical adaptation of the dystopian young adult novel, THE CITY OF EMBER.


Zak Sandler




Lyric Sheets


A sample lyric sheet can be downloaded here.
To request full materials, please reach out.

Supplementary Visual Resources

Productions of ANTHEM will be provided with a visual resource pack. This resource pack containing photos, paintings, and artistic imagery to supplement and inspire.
A sample of these can be downloaded here.