The Easton, Maryland theatre community lost one of its own on Friday, June 14, 2013 when David Foster, age 86, died. David was our Sandy Hawes in The Santa Diaries. His nuanced performance and rich voice made the role memorable. The opening montage with David’s voice over still makes me tear up.
Not that he didn’t almost give us a heart attack every night of the show. In the first scene he was up on Martha’s roof stringing Christmas lights in a snow storm. I suppose if this had been a Broadway production there would have been a lift for David, but this was community theater so at each performance he climbed a 20 foot ladder behind the rear projection screen and waved the lights around. Laura and I sat in the back of the theater clenching our fists until he was safely on the ground. Then we could breathe again.
David never complained that he couldn’t do it. As far as I knew, he never asked the director to find another way. That would have been the sensible thing to do, but David knew the illusion of being on the roof was important. Al Bond held the ladder steady at the bottom, but when the run was over we were all glad that David had not fallen and really broken his leg as he did in the play.
David Foster loved helping other actors and that will be his true legacy in the theater community he embraced in retirement. It will be hard to remember he’s gone; we were blessed to have him with us.