Mark Woods left New York City for North Carolina in 1975 to assess the feasibility of creating a major regional theatre in the Piedmont.
Prior to leaving New York, Mark graduated with honors from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, found employment as a actor with The Classic Stage Company, and The Lincoln Center Repertory Theatre, performed as a puppeteer with Lava Productions and produced/directed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre at St. Clements and Lincoln Center.
Shortly after arriving in North Carolina in 1975, Mark co-founded The North Carolina Theatre Ensemble with Stuart Brooks and they produced seventeen plays over as many months in both Winston-Salem and Greensboro, building a large advocate base which became the support network for launching a major regional theatre. The result was the founding of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival (NCSF) in 1977. This timely marriage of their vision, with a brand new theatre building in High Point, brought a new industry to the city and national attention to the state.
During the seven years that Mark produced NCSF it grew to encompass the Festival Stage Company (presenting classics, both old and new, in High Point and Charlotte). The Actor in the Schools Program designed to augment high school English curriculum in North and South Carolina and a touring program of NCSF productions playing in communities all over the Southeast.
In 1984, the Board of Directors of Actors Contemporary Ensemble (ACE) in Charlotte, N.C. invited Mark to take on the responsibility of transforming ACE into Charlotte’s Repertory Theatre (CRT), Charlottes resident professional theatre.
For the next several years, Mark produced CRT (continuing and expanding The Actor in the Schools Program initiated at NCSF) with a particular emphasis on bringing new plays to public attention and making a permanent home for CRT in The Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts. Paramount among his many achievements with CRT was the establishment of the Charlotte Festival/New plays in America which has consistently offered Charlotte audiences the best in new theatre and brought significant national attention to Charlotte’s cultural environment.
Mark left CRT to launch a lifelong dream, New River Dramatists.
Mark has served on the board of The Frank Holder Dance Company, The Community Theatre of High Point, N.C. and for six years on the board of the North Carolina Arts Council as chair of the Theatre Panel.