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.


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.

In 2013, Wood directed the North Carolina outdoor drama The Lost Colony, winning a Tony award for Excellence in Theater.

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.

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.


  1. ^ "Bettie Lee Winstead Wood". News and Observer. 
  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.