Friday, July 22, 2016
Spotlight On...Heath Saunders
Hometown: Kirkland, WA
Education: Bachelor of Music, University of Miami.
Select Credits: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (ART and upcoming Broadway)
Why theater?: Collaboration is the name of the game, and I think real genius happens in groups.
Who do you play in Newton’s Cradle?: I play Evan, and also the role of “composer/lyricist.”
Tell us about Newton’s Cradle: Newton’s Cradle is an original musical examining the effect a young man’s diagnosis of autism has on his family.
What is it like being a part of Newton’s Cradle?: There’s nothing quite like watching something that’s been inside your head for years unfold in front of you with real, talented, beautiful artists, a couple of whom are your real life family members. Being able to be part of it onstage is an epic bonus.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I respond most strongly to theater that has a strong perspective that is commits to, wholly and completely, and that looks to affect hearts and minds. I want theater that looks to the future with a critical eye, rather than lovingly at the past.“Finding” inspiration is hard for me; it seems like inspiration is usually the one who finds me! But there are definitely things – I just saw Hadestown at New York Theater Workshop and found it profoundly moving, and Rachel Chavkin continues to blow my mind. This one album I’ve been grooving to, The Human Condition by Jon Bellion, is really delicious. My friends are always doing things that impress and inspire me. My family. Stories about space. Perspective. Parents.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Many, but I think it’s bad form to put it into the universe this way. ;)
What’s your favorite showtune?: This is bizarre, but probably “Many a New Day” from Oklahoma.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Marianne Elliott, Lin Manuel Miranda, Mimi Lien, Audra McDonald, John Lasseter.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Hopefully Lucy Liu.
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I want to see Caroline, or Change live.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I was super into Hadestown.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I feel guilty about none of my pleasures, and openly and unironically adore anime.
What’s up next?: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway. Previews begin in October!
For more on Heath, visit heathcliffsaunders.com