“Coupler:” Faith, love and destiny

Characters Celeste, left, and Emily, right. Photo Courtesy of Michael Brunk

Bellevue College will soon premiere the romantic comedy drama “Coupler,” which is centered around love, trust and destiny. Written in 2016, the play takes place in the heart of London’s underground transport system. The new comedy is inspired by the 1990s film, “Peter Pan.”

“Coupler” is described as a romantic comedy set in the last car on a train. After having lost partners and maybe even their own identities, the passengers of this last car experience romance tied together in a comedic way. They travel through the heart of London, hanging on to what life was once before. Romance and comedy follow them along throughout their journey.

The play was written by Meredith Dayna Levy for the Hollins-Mill Mountain Theatre Winter Festival of New Works. It received the David L. Shelton Full Length Student Playwriting Award for 2016. Levy is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Hollins University, where she is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild and the Playwright’s Center. She has written several plays that have received distinction. Apart from “Coupler,” Levy published a historical drama called “Decision Height” in 2014.

Levy’s works range in genre from dark comedy to historical dramas, in which she aims to give voices to women and members of the LGBTQ community. In her play “Decision Height,” there were between nine and 14 cast members, nine of which were women. “Decision Height” has received multiple awards, including the Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award in 2014.

Actor Max Lopuszynski is a Bellevue College student who plays the character Glenn Fosdale, a bank teller. He explained that when it comes to relationships his character “enjoys playing the field but deep down, he has no clue who he is or what he wants.” With experience both in backstage and front stage production, Lopuszynski said he is “excited about performing in an alley-style seating arrangement. I have yet to experience that.”

Director Tammi Doyle is also the chair of the Theatre Arts Department of Drama and Dance at Bellevue College. What she loves most about directing includes “reading, researching and analyzing the play, the casting, the first read.” Specifically, when directing “Coupler,” Doyle enjoyed “the first run through and tech when we added the lights and sound, the costumes.” Directing plays is not new to Doyle. She has directed at multiple theaters and festivals including the Seattle Musical Theatre, her very own Seattle PlayHouse and Piccoli Children’s Theatre.

As for what audience members can expect before coming to watch the play, Doyle said she hopes “that they will become involved with these characters and their attempts to connect to one another.”

The play is set to premiere on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stop Gap Studio Theatre at Bellevue College. It will run until Nov. 12, then again from Nov. 17 – 19. Tickets are available for sale on the Brown Paper Tickets website at $10 for students, faculty and staff, or $12 for general admission.