Director fell in love with the stage early on, and the honeymoon continues

BY TERRY MATHEWS | News-Telegram Arts Editor

May 6, 2007 - David Woody fell in love with the theatre at an early age. In the first grade, he made his stage debut as a piece of toast. When he was 10, he was cast as a boy in the famous play “Inherit the Wind.”

David Woody

�I got to work with Paul Crabtree, who originated one of the roles in 'The Iceman Cometh,' on Broadway,� Woody, now 47, said in a recent interview.�

Although Woody participated in a lot of high school productions, he didn't study drama in college.

�I went into the military and I sought out the community theatres where ever I was stationed,� he said. �I ended up playing some 14 roles in the musical 'Godspell' through my years in the service.�

Woody lists Hawkeye Pierce as his favorite role.

��M*A*S*H� was my first show under one of the Sulphur Springs Community Players' founding members, Joe McCorkle,� Woody said. �He's a great director. It was refreshing to work under him.��

According to Woody, a great director is someone who will “allow the actor to build their role and then take what that actor is doing and work it into the show.”

His favorite play is “whatever I'm working on,” and he doesn't hold on to many backstage superstitions – “except Macbeth. No one mentions the name of that play backstage.”

Woody has been a member of the Sulphur Springs Community Players in 1988. Since that time, he has served in every capacity “except secretary or treasurer.”

Even though he's familiar with all aspects of the theatre, Woody says his favorite part of the dramatic process is the makeup. He likes the challenge of having to age 30 years during the course of a play.

Woody says that, unlike some actors who have difficulty shedding their characters after the final curtain, he can let a part go.

�Pretty much, when I walk away, I'm done,� he said.�

If he could wave a magic wand, Woody, a general contractor, would have a theatre complex in Sulphur Springs.

�I'd like to do children's workshops year round and have several productions going at once,� Woody said. �I'd also like to have a facility for touring companies.�

Woody says he is still amazed by the “concentration of talent for musicians and singers and people with such acting ability in a community this size. It's amazing.”

Woody credits the Players long-running success story to a diverse group of volunteers and an all-inclusive attitude.

�Joe and Lucy McCorkle are two of the last charter members,� Woody said. �Joe's a very good director and he's very good with sets.�

As for their attitude, Woody says the players welcome everybody.

�That's how you keep a theater alive. You bring in new talent,� he said.

The Players have a summer youth program, limited to 45 children. This year the workshop will run July 19 - 28 and will be directed by Tony Shadix. Registration for the workshop is set for May 29 – 31.

Woody is also involved with a new venture downtown. He's going to open the Blue Fountain Restaurant on the weekends for music and food.

�We're going to be open from 6:15 until 9 p.m.,� Woody said. �I make a killer gumbo and we're going to also offer Kingston pulled chicken and muffeletas, along with some great blues and jazz.�

The Blue Fountain can hold up to 40 people and Woody plans to draw them in by offering a wide array of local talent.

�Enola Gay and Bob Armstrong are going to play.� he said. �We are hoping The Plaids will make an appearance, too. There will be something for everyone.�

Woody is currently busy with preparations for the Players' new production, “Squabbles,” which will open May 17 and run through May 26.

The comedy tells the complicated story of Jerry and Alice Sloan, a married couple whose blissful married life is disrupted when Jerry's mother Mildred and Alice's father Abe move in.

In-laws are always difficult, but Jerry and Alice's situation is beyond hostile. It seems that Mildred tried to kill Abe at the wedding.

�They hate each other's guts,� Woody said.

Commitment to his craft is part of what makes David Woody tick. 

�I love the theater,� he says. �I love being able to draw an audience into the world that we actors have created and having them walk away with a good feeling of being entertained.�

�Squabbles� is a play in two acts, lasting about 2 hours, according to Woody. For reservations, call 903-885-0107.

As with previous productions, “Judy's Kitchen will be serving dinner prior to the show on Saturday, May 19,” Woody said. 

The dinner will cost $17.50, including tax and tip, according to Judy Gilreath. 

"We're going to serve a Cornish game hen on a bed of wild rice, oriental vegetables, horseradish baby carrots, and a spring greens salad with goat cheese and a Balsamic vinaigrette dressing," Gilreath said. "We'll serve an assortment of special desserts after the play. We did that last time and people really seemed to like having the opportunity to sit down, have dessert and coffee and talk about the play."

Call Judy's Kitchen at 903-438-2665 to make dinner reservations.

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