2018 Young Lions of Broadway
2018 The Orchard Project’s New York City Greenhouse
2015 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project
2012 Songwriter.com Song of the Year finalist (“You Started Me”)
Member of Dramatists Guild
Heath is the second oldest of the five Saunders siblings, or the fourth youngest,
depending on who you ask. What does Heath actually do though?
Heath has been juggling many things his entire life. It took him awhile to figure out that they were mostly orbiting the “artist” moniker, because he fancied himself a mathematician, but even those two spaces aren’t so far apart. First, Heath wanted to be a roller coaster designer. Then, a composer of video game music. Then, a pit musician. Then, a musical theater writer. While all of his siblings generally chose a single instrument to study, he played cello, piano, oboe, saxophone, and guitar. While all his friends took a single 5th period class like normal eleventh grade students, he had to take three at the same time, with orchestra, marching band, and calculus 2. When the family started to do musical theater more regularly, he didn’t just perform, no - he wrote, directed, musically directed, orchestrated, arranged, composed, choreographed AND performed, and MOSTLY not all at the same time! (There is one horrifying production of Annie that marked the first and only time he was in the pit and the cast simultaneously, and not in that cute actor-musician way, and it was horrible. 12/10 doctors would not recommend.) He finished his first full length musical (the hilariously adolescent Story of Three) when he was 17, and presented selections from it, utilizing his extraordinary brothers and sisters, for his senior project in high school.
University of Miami wasn’t much different. When he realized that he and the other freshfolk in the theater program wouldn’t be allowed to perform, he organized a first year cabaret -- a tradition that, as far as he knows, continues to this day -- and wrote new lyrics and arranged a mash up for the opening number. He helped reinstate the theater student leadership group, stepped in as associate director and staged an entire new musical in three days when the director was caught in New York, accompanied voice lessons for extra cash on the side, took two independent study classes specifically tailored to musical theater history and orchestration/composition, and still managed to barely graduate in the requisite four years.
These days, Heath basically spends his time perfecting the art of rejecting labels. An actor-singer-writer-composer-director-multi-instrumentalist-theater-artist-and-not-necessarily-in-that-order type. You’d probably recognize him most from purely musical theater performance. But, honestly, Heath never really meant to perform professionally, at least until someone (probably his mom) very wisely mentioned that actually, the idea that you had to pick one thing to do with your entire life was wholly illusory, and, indeed, every job that he could possibly do would only augment and enrich all the other careers. The point is, the story of Heath is many stories, and always has been, but...it begins and ends with this collective. His family: his best friends and his support system. He still dreams of one day designing a perfect steel giga-coaster for Six Flags Magic Mountain. And they’ll all be there opening day to ride it.