THE CREATIVE TEAM
Rachel Payne is a classically trained Mezzo Soprano working in Los Angeles and abroad in Opera, TV, Film and currently producing her own musical projects: ANTHEM: A New Musical Song Cycle; HOARDERS: A Musical which takes you into the mind of some obsessive characters; MOURNING: a classical recording which takes listeners through the stages of grief; and a new Children’s TV show about music called, THE PETROPOLITAN.
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 has many new shows in the works, including THE CITY OF EMBER, based on the best-selling novel by Jeanne DuPrau. When not writing musicals, Adele can be found writing English lyrics for European pop singers such as Sena Kana and Sonya Kay. Adele currently resides in Arizona with her husband, two beautiful and creative daughters, and an overfed beta fish.
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, along with Adele Powers. Zak’s and Adele’s previous show, ANTHEM (also created with Rachel Payne), ran at the 2014 New York Fringe Festival and at the Chicago Musical Theater Festival. His newest musical, INSIDE MY HEAD, is about the relationship between a young man and his bipolar, and was presented at New York Theatre Barn in September. He is also creating a docu-series that explores the link between creativity and mental conditions among celebrity artists and up-and-coming artists, called INSANELY TALENTED.
Zak often speaks publicly about his bipolar, having presented at the 2017 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National Convention in Washington, D.C., and the 2017 and 2018 NAMI New York State Conferences in Albany. He is the recipient of the 2018 NAMI New York State Young Leader award. He was recently featured with "This Is My Brave" (NYC, 2018), singing his original song, "I Am Me." He tries not to use the words "illness" and "disorder", because he feels they imply there's something wrong with him, when there isn’t (at least, not due to his bipolar). Yale, B.A., Music, 2008.