After working in computer system development and management for decades, David Coyle opened Habilitate in Sarasota three years ago, the area's first Z-Coil pain-relief footwear store. (Z-Coil shoes have a somewhat odd, futuristic-looking spring coil at the heel, a patented spring system designed to lessen the impact of walking and running. "My brother, who was born with a club foot and has terrible arthritis in his feet and ankles, tried them, and in one week he was pain-free," Coyle says. "This convinced me these really were the miracle workers the people at Z-Coil had told me they were.")
His first love, however, was theater, so he joined a playwriting class at the Asolo to meet people soon after moving to Sarasota. When he submitted a piece to the Players Theatre for their play-reading series, his was one of only seven chosen. "It's called Saint Mike," Coyle says. "It's about a person who comes to a Louisiana community, finds relatives. it's complex, rather strange and even includes some statues that sing, but people seem to enjoy it."
His love of theater originally was kindled in the Air Force. Coyle joined IBM right out of college in 1963 and shortly afterward served in the Air Force for four years as a communications and electronics officer, stationed in Biloxi, Miss., and Mobile, Ala. "There weren't a lot of entertainment options there," he says, "so I volunteered at Mobile and Biloxi's little theater groups. I played all sorts of roles-musical, nonmusical, drama, comedy."
Coyle has since written one-minute plays for the Eclectic Theater Company in Sarasota and acted in a recent Sarasota Actors Workshop production. He's currently taking a scene study class at Florida Studio Theatre.
"I'm going to continue with my playwriting, which is something I thought I'd never be able to do," he says. "You just throw yourself into it and see what happens."