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Sarah Rosetta Wakeman,

153rd New York Infantry, 1861

The Story

The Rosetta Project is a new folk-rock musical which centers around the true story of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, a young woman who presented herself as a man and joined the Union Army during the Civil War.  Her adventures are forever captured in a series of letters written to her family chronicling her daily life as Private Lyons Wakeman in the 153rd New York infantry.  Original songs by lyricist/ composer Jenn Grinels bring to life this tale of freedom, gender identity and the pursuit of the American Dream.

It is estimated that over 400 women fought in the Civil War.  The Rosetta Project weaves together the fascinating stories of these untold heroes, as they grapple with equality, identity and place.


Music & Lyrics by Jenn Grinels

Directed by Merideth Kaye Clark

Musical Consultant Rick Lewis

Gender & Identity Damaturg Jenna Tamimi 

Produced by 

Jenn Grinels, Merideth Kaye Clark,

Jared Miller & Blossom Benedict

Performance Assistant Emily Shaindlin

Lighting & Sound Rick Rothwell

This project was made possible by: The Regional Arts and Culture Council, Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theatre, a generous angel donation from our friend and brilliant artist Lisa Mann, and you!

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The Cast


Little Brother 










Ella Korn

Cameron Jordan

Emma Hearn

Jenn Grinels

Clayton Lukens

William Aamold

Jason Nuesa

Merideth Kaye Clark

Eric Little

Sophie MacKay

Blossom Benedict


The Band

Piano/ Keys




Eric Little

Ross Seligman

René Ormae-Jarmer

Will Amend

Song List

Rewrite History

Goodnight Sun

Time to Go

The Canal Song

Living Out Loud 

Love Beyond Reason

When I Get Home


Burn Down Cages 

If Tomorrow Never Comes 


Rosetta, Little Brother





Soldiers, Rosetta

Mother, Father, Rosetta


Rosetta, Company


Jenn Grinels


Now an award-winning, nationally touring  singer/songwriter, Grinels actually began her career in musical theater, performing in professional productions around Southern California after studying theater at UC Irvine. Grinels played Yitzhak in the West Coast Premiere of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and spent nearly three years portraying Janis Joplin in Beehive, The 60’s Musical. With the release of her first album, Grinels hit the road, performing her original music across the country and abroad, sharing the stage with 10,000 Maniacs, Christopher Cross, Marc Cohn, Edwin McCain, Marc Broussard, and countless others. As an independent artist, Grinels has built a large, grassroots following and released six full length albums, selling over 25,000 copies and accumulating over 1,000,000 streams online. With The Rosetta Project, Grinels returns to her musical theater roots, combining her experience on theatrical stages and as a singer/songwriter. 


Merideth Kaye Clark


Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Merideth studied Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University before earning a Masters in Musical Theatre at San Diego State University. It was there, in California, where she began her career as a concert artist and musical theatre performer. Merideth has since performed major roles in theatres around the country. Highlights include: Elphaba standby, Wicked (First National Tour); Nancy, Oliver! (Seattle’s 5th Ave); Cathy, The Last Five Years (Portland Center Stage); Alice Murphy, Bright Star (Arvada Center); Clara, The Light in the Piazza (Portland Playhouse); Tzeitl, Fiddler on the Roof (PCS); Kate/Lilli, Kiss Me Kate (Clackamas Rep); Eva Peron, Evita (Northern Stage); Olivia, Twelfth Night (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); How the Grinch Stole Christmas (The Old Globe); Amazing Grace (Goodspeed); Rose, Meet Me In St. Louis (Irish Rep). She has participated in numerous developmental readings and has originated roles in two off-Broadway musicals.

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Rick Lewis

Musical Consultant

Rick most recently received the Broadway World Award for outstanding musical direction for his work on Fun Home at Portland Center Stage.  He is a seven-time Drammy winner for his work in the Portland area.  He is the creator/writer/arranger of the hit Off-Broadway musicals The Taffetas, its all-male sequel The Cardigans, and Have a Nice Day! - the 70's Musical Flashback.  Other NYC credits include: casting pianist for Sondheim and Lapine's original production of Sunday in the Park with George (pre-Broadway workshop); Cy Coleman's The Life (Assistant Conductor, Vocal Director (pre-Broadway workshop); Assistant Music Director for Off-Broadway's Charlotte Sweet, Music Director/Conductor for Anything Goes (Equity Library Theatre), Music Director/Arranger for London Days/New York Nights.  Rick has written and/or arranged original music for Disney Family Live Entertainment, MGM/UA Home Video, the Democratic National Convention, American Hawaii Cruises, Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade, American West Steamboat Company, and American Classic Voyages.  Rick developed the Cinnamon Bear Cruise, a holiday staple aboard the Portland Spirit.


Covid Safety

The health and safety of our young performers is of paramount importance to us! 


We will will be following all CDC guidelines and complying strictly with state and local regulations. We ask that all audience members be masked, regardless of vaccination status. Seating will be distanced.


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