Wake County Public School System

Hall of Fame

ARTS

Ira David Wood III

Ira David Wood III is an award-winning actor, a passionate advocate for the performing arts, and the Founder and Executive Director of Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park.

David was raised in Enfield, NC, where he became his hometown’s first Eagle Scout, before graduating from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He spent summers during his college years as a leading actor in The Lost Colony, the oldest outdoor drama in the country, and has since returned to direct the show for several years. Upon graduation, he became the first Theatre Arts Consultant for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and was charged with creating and promoting drama programs in North Carolina public schools.

A year later, he founded Theatre In The Park. In only a few years, Theatre In The Park became North Carolina’s largest community theatre, with an international reputation. The theatre’s facility has been named The Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre in his honor.

A partial list of David’s awards include: The North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts (State of NC,) The Order of the Long Leaf Pine (State of NC,) The Halifax Resolves Award (Halifax County Historical Association), The Morrison Award (Roanoke Island Historical Association), Distinguished Alumni Award (UNCSA), Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (BSA), the Builder of Bridges Award (Babcock Center Foundation), three keys to The City of Raleigh, and honorary citizenship awards from Columbia, SC and Compiegne, France. David is the author of A Lover’s Guide to the Outer Banks and Confessions of an Elf. He is also a contributing author to Murder in Dealey Plaza: What We Know Now That We Didn’t Know Then.

Though his list of acclaimed theatre roles is unrivaled in our area, David is probably best known and loved for annually portraying the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in his own musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which celebrated its 43rd year of consecutive production in 2016. With three international tours to its credit, and having played to over one million people, the production is now cited as “… one of the most successful shows in North Carolina theater history.”

The proud father of three—Evan Rachel Wood, Ira David Wood IV, & Thomas Miller Wood—David and his wife Ashley are proud to call North Carolina “home.”

Ira David Wood III was inducted into the Wake County Public School System Hall of Fame in 2017.