David Auslander, 78, passed away on December 20, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. He was born March 25, 1942, to the late Julius and Mary Jane Margaret (Sweeny) (Auslander) Egiziano. David was a graduate of Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Directing. After a side trip serving in Vietnam, he was always most proud of his efforts to bring quality stagecraft to Westchester County.
He was a fixture for many years at Pleasantville Music Theater, moving scenery, building sets, and serving as set designer and lighting designer for numerous shows. He became a member of the Board of Directors and directed several shows including the first community theatre presentation of “Sweeney Todd.” Among other theatrical associations in Westchester, he directed for The Theatre Place in Pleasantville, New York, was Technical Director for Marymount College Drama Department, Set and Lighting Designer for the Westchester Ballet Company, and Artistic Director for “Shakespeare in Westchester.” He also worked with many other theatrical groups, including the Chappaqua Drama group, Mahopac Farm Playhouse, The Tarrytown Music Hall, the Yorktown Stage, and others.
One thread running through Mr. Auslander’s life was his association with the musical “Oliver!” He had a close friend in the original Broadway production. Several years after that production closed, its turntable was purchased by the summer stock company Mr. Auslander was working for. Over the years, he directed “Oliver!” several times and performed in various roles. He proposed to his wife, Patricia Chasnis, on the opening night of a production. A few years later his wife designed the children’s costumes for Pleasantville Music Theatre’s first production of the musical. On the day of the Children’s Costume Parade, she gave birth to their daughter Katie - who acted alongside her father for the first time in yet another production. One of his grandsons is named Oliver.
In his retirement, he and his wife participated with his daughter’s family and many friends in the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval recreation group where he was awarded the title of Lord for his many achievements, including organizing and chaperoning events in his region.
David will be missed and remembered by his daughter, Catherine Morton, son-in-law Jeffrey, and grandchildren Charles and Oliver, of New York. He will be missed and remembered by his sister Joni Grotto, of New York. He will be missed and remembered by his niece Jennifer McPhillips and family, and his nephew Peter Grotto Jr and family, of New York. Mr. Auslander was predeceased by his wife Patricia (Chasnis) Auslander in 2014, with whom he celebrated 42 years of marriage.
A celebration of life will be held as soon as it is safe to gather in large groups. To leave an online condolence, please visit MillspaughFuneralHome.com. In lieu of flowers, when it is safe to do so again, honor Mr. Auslander’s life by attending a production at a community theatre.
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