Ira David Wood III

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Ira David Wood III (born November 19, 1947) is an American actor, author, singer, theater director and playwright. He is the Executive Director of Theatre in the Park, a community theatre company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Early life and family[edit]

Wood was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and was raised in the Enfield area of Halifax County, North Carolina. He is a son of Betty Lee (Winstead), a nurse, and Ira David Wood, Jr.[1] He is a graduate of The North Carolina School of the Arts, having attended between 1965 and 1970. His first wife is Sara Lynn Moore (born 6 Mar 1958), an actress, director and acting coach.[2] They were divorced in September 1996, and he is currently married to Ashley Mattox Wood. His sister, Carol Winstead Wood, is a former Hollywood production designer. Two of his four children, Evan Rachel Wood and Ira David Wood IV, are Hollywood actors.

Career[edit]

Wood mainly works in live theatre, but he has also made appearances in a few motion pictures and on television. He has also been a guest artist on numerous occasions with the North Carolina Symphony, and he has also appeared with Andre Watts and the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center.[3]

He wrote and directed the Opening Ceremonies for the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1987 – the largest single athletic event in the history of North Carolina.[3]

Following extensive work in developing a chronology of the John F. Kennedy Assassination in preparation for a theatrical production, he is listed as a contributing writer for the 2000 book Murder in Dealey Plaza.

A Christmas Carol[edit]

Wood is best known for conceiving, producing and headlining (as Scrooge) a popular musical comedy adaptation of A Christmas Carol that has been performed annually in Raleigh—and, more recently, in nearby Durham—since 1974.[4] His is acknowledged as one of the earliest adaptations of the venerable Christmas classic for the theatre and one of the first adaptations of any type that featured a comic element. The local newspaper, the News & Observer has called it "‘one of the most successful shows in North Carolina theater history".[4] The production has toured internationally twice and has been shown to a total audience of more than one million people.

Internet success[edit]

David first rose to fame on YouTube in 2008 with "Dramatic Reading of a Breakup Letter",[citation needed] and again in 2010 after lending his voice to "Dot Dot Dot"[citation needed]. His dramatic reading of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It", was recorded for "Bob and the Showgram Mornings" in late 2011, is currently making the rounds.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Wood has been awarded the Medal of Arts award for artistic achievement on two occasions (the only individual twice honored), as presented by the Raleigh Arts Commission.[3] He is a recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the State of North Carolina, and the Babcock Foundation of South Carolina presented him with their Builder of Bridges award.[3]

In 2004, the performance venue of Theatre in the Park in Raleigh was named "The Ira Wood III Pullen Park Theatre", in recognition of his decades of work in local theatre.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/09/05/2317245/bettie-lee-winstead-wood.html
  2. ^ O'Toole, Lesley (2006-06-24). "Distress princess". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2006-06-24. 
  3. ^ a b c d Online biography copyrighted by Wood in 2003. Retrieved 4 Dec 2009.
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Robert W. (December 2004). "PREVIEW: Theatre in the Park Preview: A Christmas Carol, Starring Ira Wood as Scrooge, Will Have New Scenery and New Choreography". Classical Voice of North Carolina. Retrieved 2007-10-04.