A born actor, Ira David Wood III was among North Carolina's first students to attend North Carolina School of the Arts in 1965. As a youth, he spent his summers performing in the Outer Banks' The Lost Colony outdoor drama.
Years later, Wood answered a call from the Department of Public Instruction looking for someone with the passion to change the way the arts were being taught in N.C.'s public schools. He stepped up to the challenge, jumping at the opportunity to give back to a state which had given him so much.
It wasn't long before Wood founded Raleigh's Theatre In The Park. Believing theater should not only entertain but also educate, he reinvigorated the community by creating a place where people could enjoy everything from Shakespeare to contemporary plays and Broadway-worthy premieres.
Make a trip
One of David's most beloved productions is his original comedy version of A Christmas Carol. A holiday tradition in Raleigh since 1974, Wood has had the honor of playing Scrooge since its inception more than 40 years ago. His son is now in the wings, warming up to take on the role. Wood says that many who return to see the play each year tell him it's just like coming back to see an old friend. Experience the tradition for yourself, and also look out for comedies, contemporary dramas, musicals, original works, Shakespeare and more throughout the year.
Note: In a normal year, sold-out audiences would pack Memorial Auditorium in downtown Raleigh to take part in this time-honored holiday tradition. Due to COVID-19, that can't happen in 2020. Instead, Theatre In The Park is offering a recorded version of the hilarious 2019 performance for on-demand streaming purchase. So gather your family, prepare your popcorn and safely enjoy one of the most iconic holiday theatre productions in America.
“Good theater transcends all barriers—race, color, creed, religion—and it gives you a place to come together with total strangers in a room, to laugh, to cry, to be touched, to be educated and to be empowered.”