David Cutler Wallace died at his home in West Dennis on Nov. 24, 2023, the day after a Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends. He was 64.
David was born in New York City on Nov. 3, 1959 to Marcia Vickery Wallace and William Sheldon Wallace. It is said that he made his entrance with a pointy head, red hair, and sideburns. He loved baseball, hockey, and playing stickball and curb ball with his 87th Street pals. His flair for the dramatic flourished at Allen Stevenson School, where he played a diminutive Frederick to a six-foot Mabel in Pirates of Penzance. He found his niche starring in The Mousetrap at Salisbury School.
David spent hours building forts in tall pines with Chris Bushing, listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and the Grateful Dead. In 1984, he graduated from Boston University with a B.F.A. in theater arts and acting.
Back in Manhattan, he joined the Blue Hill Troupe backstage, worked at the Museum of the City of New York, ran a small catering business, and went to “cattle calls” for acting jobs. David got to the final round of callbacks for the movie Taps but lost the part to Tom Cruise because he looked too much like Timothy Hutton.
Rejection was difficult for him, and when his sister decided to spend a year traveling around the world (in honor of their late mother, who had been a travel writer) David quit his job and joined her. On a shoestring budget, they drove across the U.S. and backpacked through Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. He loved the food and beauty of Thailand and Malaysia but suffered debilitating culture shock.
Back among Cape Cod friends with whom he had thrived as a boy, David became a true washashore. He was active in community theater across the Cape for the next 35 years, performing and working backstage in at least 100 productions. Notable roles included Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird at the Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans; Tom Durkee in Art Devine’s 9 Ball at Cape Rep in Brewster; and Dr. Doolittle, Long John Silver, and the Arkansas Bear at Cape Cod/Harwich Junior Theatre.
In its tribute, the Harwich theater company wrote, “David was a consummate actor who gave freely of his luminous talent. … He was kind to children and young people; always willing to lend a helping hand. … Acting was his true calling.” David’s talents, puckish sense of humor, integrity, and kindness touched many lives.
He is survived by his brother, J. Derby Wallace, and wife Deena; sister Kate Wallace Rogers and Myra Kooy of Provincetown; nephew Oliver and nieces Phoebe, Laurel, and Madison. He is also survived by cousins Diane, Marcia, Katherine, Bill, and Jake and their families.
Burial will be private with a celebration of David’s life to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations in David’s honor may be sent to Cape Cod/Harwich Junior Theatre or Cape Rep Theatre in Brewster.