The unusual part of this story? Zach is a senior at . Yes, he is 17.
He said he spent about three and a half years writing “6,” which is a “Six Degrees of Separation” type of story. “It’s about six New Yorkers’ lives,” Zach said, “and how they intersect. How they brush paths has a profound impact on each other’s lives.”
Hills East originally performed the play last May and now it will be performed by six adults at CAP.
Zach himself has acted and sung in musicals since he was 5 or 6 years old, he said. He plays a little clarinet and guitar, but the piano is his instrument and he loves to write songs that he can also sing and play. But he wrote all the music for “6,” including for instruments that he doesn’t even play.
“I write out what I want them to play,” Zach said. “It’s interesting. I’m a terrible electric bass player, for example. But the keys I play with my left hand on the piano equals the bass chords. The songs sound very different when the whole band is rocking.”
When he was writing the play, the first thing he did was come up with the story, the plot, the characters. He said he had been mulling around different ideas for a while and that the play started as a different idea from how it evolved. After he comes up with the plot, he then breaks it down, song by song.
“When I’m writing a song, I start with the melody, usually,” Zach explained. “Then the lyrics start to take form. Sometimes the music changes after the lyrics are written.”
What if he had to decide between being a playwright/songwriter and acting/singing in shows?
“I would like to keep a healthy balance between them,” he said. “I love to write shows and music but I love to sing and play the piano. Writing songs and shows—it’s all storytelling and that’s what I love to do.”
Zach has already been accepted to NYU and is very excited to move to New York City next fall. “That’s where the action is,” he said.
I’m sure we’ll be seeing his name in lights on Broadway in no time at all.