David Couter is a theatre artist, specializing in acting and playwriting, who believes in the raw power of master storytelling. He is originally from Chattanooga, TN but now works out of New York. He received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Memphis with a concentration in Musical Theatre and a minor in Dance where he was graduated Summa Cum Laude.
David has been fortunate enough to learn under select highly competent artists throughout his career. He studied comedic writing and improvisation with John Hildreth at Second City in Chicago; was selected for a public master class with Broadway’s Ben Vereen; and studied site specific theatre and experimental puppetry with Israeli artist Adam Yakin.
In 2013, David began his long-standing career with Voices of the South, a theatre company in Memphis that specializes in producing work of southern writers, creating the still-running touring show It’s All Greek to Me. The following spring David produced two of his original plays (It’s Just a Theory, On My Honor) and directed a friend’s (Ridiculously Over-Priced Coffee) in Common Lines which strived to bring people of different colors, creeds and origins together.
David’s experimental play He Was a Good Cat was selected and performed for the student-led production his senior year at university. With the tagline “A bizarre play about our bizarre existence” this story follows two men stuck on a stage as they banter back and forth about nothing and everything simultaneously.
In the summer of 2015, David went to Seoul, South Korea to write Special 5, a musical about not-so-super heroes, with composer Ahreum Cho and collaborating artist Yossef K. In 2018, Dimo Kim Musical Theatre Factory produced a reading of the musical in the Arader Galleries in New York City. In 2021, Special 5 was awarded Best New Musical at the Daegu International Musical Festival in South Korea.
Due to his former success with the company, Voices of the South’s artistic director reached out to David asking if he would write and direct an original play for their Annual Memphis Children’s Theatre Festival which culminated in the world premiere of The Boy Who Fell from the Sky. This story was selected as the theatre focus for the DeltaARTS Aesthetic Education Educator Workshop: based on the Lincoln Center aesthetic education model in the summer of 2018.
David’s short play Chugging Along was selected by Playlist Seattle to be performed in their Women Who Rock 2018 series promoting emerging female musicians from Seattle, Washington; it was inspired by the song “Real Sick Man” by the musical artist Brenda Xu. Watch it here.
David was fortunate enough to perform in his original play Caddywhompus in the 2018 New York Fringe Festival. Shoshana Roberts wrote:
"It all starts with Alex (David Couter) staring at the wall, clearly contemplating or worrying about something taking a lot of concentration. Legs slightly askew and back twitching, he appears uncomfortable, yet preparing himself for events we know not of. In just these first moments, Couter draws us in—he's awkward and slightly wounded, yet clever and scheming. (I had to find his acting reel online to verify whether his tick and limp were real—he’s just that good.) This skilled actor is also the playwright, and his writing, paired with director Yossef K’s vision, combine to display the frighteningly weird and humorous nightmare of a story that is Mr. Caddywhompus."
You can read the whole review here.
HEREHEIS, which follows a father and transgender son having an impromptu funeral for the father's former daughter, premiered at Emerald Theatre Company in Memphis, TN fall of 2019.
David, in collaboration with fellow theatre artists Yossef K and Stevan Mijailovic, wrote the new play Joyce which follows a father and the family hamster who venture into a foreign yet familiar land of a children's storybook. Joyce received its world premiere at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and went on to be performed at the Sharjah Fringe Festival - the first fringe festival in the Middle East - in Dubai in 2020.
In January 2021, David's play What We See Becomes Us was performed as part of Creo Theatre's Short Play Festival. In the play a concerned teacher informs a vulgar mother over a Zoom call about the inappropriate actions her son has been making, but who truly needs help is up for debate.
In November 2021, Voices of the South presented a reading of Mary's Corner at the Buckman Performing Arts Center in Memphis, TN. The play's blurb reads, "A family in turmoil, stuck in a house full of resentment, can Grace’s imaginary friend fill the void in their lives like he does the corner of the Wrights’ living room? Mary’s Corner is a dynamic new play that looks at how we deal with grief and loss."
The Ram in the Thicket, a play following an ordinary family dealing with extraordinary events, was presented by Creo Theatre as a part of their 2022 Short Play Festival at the The Hen and Chickens Theatre Bar in March 2022.