June 2011
Photographs by: 
Bobby Altman

South Carolina native steps into new role as pirate king



The folks at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede are setting sail into new waters —right in the middle of their indoor arena. And standing (at 6 feet, 4 inches tall) at the helm of the new Pirates Voyage show is Stan Wood, as Captain Nathanial Dread, the Pirate King. Wood will showcase the trifecta of theatre—singing, dancing and acting—in this new 90-minute show, amidst scores of stunts, special effects, giant 300-foot water blasts and mermaids descending on anchors from the ceilings.

Q: Let’s talk about your theatre background before coming to the new cast of Pirates Voyage a few months ago. And are you originally from around here?
A: I have more than 20 years of acting experience, starting when I was 15 in the drama department in high school and I think I’ve been acting in some way, shape or form every day since then. I’m originally from Anderson and went to Winthrop, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theatre performance in 1996. I’ve worked in film and TV, in titles like “28 Days,” “The FBI Files” and most recently, I was part of a touring company in Wilmington called the “Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington.” I still live in Wilmington.

Q: Tell me what your role will entail in Pirates Voyage and what the audience can expect throughout the show.
A: When the show opens, everyone will be transported to a pirate cove, with two ships head on in the harbor—the Crimson, led by Captain Red Scarlet, and the Sapphire, led by Captain Indigo de Bleu. And someone has to be king. I’m using everything I’m taught; there are about 25 total in the cast and some are really specialized in acrobatics, practically skydiving and then diving in the water. There are four production sequences within the show and there will definitely be audience participation on the beach areas.

Q: What’s the rehearsal schedule been like before your planned premiere on June 3?
A: As of this week, we’ll be practicing eight hours a day for six days for the next six weeks. We really need to nail what to do and when to do it.

Q: What do you do to really get into character—where’s the inspiration come from?
A: I’ve always had a real interest in pirate history, living along the South Carolina coast and all. I think I’m that iconic pirate that everyone wants to be—like a Long John Silver sort. Once you see the show, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. My daughter, who’s 7, and my son, who’s 4, now understand that dad is an actor and look forward to the performance.

– Ashley Morris