David henderson by Chris Moutos
t was a dreary, cloudy and rainy morning—until David Henderson walked in the door. David’s exuberance is uplifting and contagious, so it’s obvious why he has delighted audiences with his acting prowess for years. Born in Goldsboro, David grew up in Kinston as well as in Iran when his father’s job relocated the family there. With the rumblings of the civil turmoil in the 0s before the Shah was overthrown, the family returned to N.C. and David attended UNC as a Morehead scholar. When I asked David about acting, he says, “I first went on stage as a 5-year-old in Kinston as the Mayor of the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz. On that first night I looked at the audience and then at Dorothy. I needed to give Dorothy the key, but I had forgotten my prop! Regardless, I was comfortable and fell in love with being on stage and in character. I have constantly acted since then. Betsy, my wife, says that I would not be happy without it.” While at UNC, David and a group of friends started a musical theater group called the Pauper Players. “I am very proud of the group; they have
just celebrated their 20th anniversary at UNC.” The Pauper Players produce 2 or 3 shows a year. As an elementary school teacher at Underwood Elementary, David taught drama for 3 years before going to Los Angeles to do some film work. However, he missed his home state and came back to Raleigh in 1 and became very active in the local performing arts. David is best known for his performances as Jacob Marley in The Theater in the Park’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. “Over the years of playing this role, I have continually found growth. It’s hard to believe that I have been with Theater in the Park for 17 years. I have the utmost respect for David Ira Wood and it has been a pleasure. I’ve done 15 productions with them and look forward to many more.” In addition to Theater in the Park, David is involved with the Burning Coal Theater and the Raleigh Ensemble Players. As David says, “When I graduated college, you could count the number of theaters companies in the area on one hand.
Now, we see all types of theater and have over 60 groups doing great things. This adds to the vibrancy of our area; I’m thrilled.” Asked about any roles he would like to play, David smiles and says, “It’s cliche’, but I want to play Hamlet. Actors like to dig their teeth in a role like that. I would also like to play Hickey in Ice Man Cometh, Anatoli in Chess and either of the two cops in A Steady Rain. One of my favorite monologues comes from the character Dillon Thomas in Dillon. Hey, I would even play Maggie in A Hot Tin Roof, but I don’t look good in a negligee!” As far as a favorite role, David has to think about that. “One of my first roles was Henry V. It came at a perfect time and was a gift to me at that juncture in my life. Playing Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol is a blast! I like making people laugh, cry, dance and sing. I love doing work that reﬂects life. I don’t act for applause. I just love doing it.”
| Downtown raleigH’s PreMier MontHlY Magazine | VoluMe 6, issue 3
Published on Mar 25, 2010
Published on Mar 25, 2010
The Spring Fever! issue of the Raleigh Downtowner Magazine features 50 things to do and places to go this spring in and around downtown Rale...