Wood III has been the face of Scrooge in 'A Christmas Carol' since he was in his 20s.
"It's gonna be tough for me to sit out a little bit and watch," he told his cast.
Ira David Wood IV stood behind his father as he delivered the news; hours after finding out he'd be the one filling his shoes.
"Fate came knocking on a rainy, November day," Wood IV said.
He will be playing Scrooge, while his father recovers from open heart surgery.
"I walked in the door and he was standing there and he said, 'Hello Ebenezer Scrooge' and I took a moment and I said, 'Yeah?' and he nodded and I said, 'Okay,'" Wood IV said.
Wood IV received a warm welcome from the cast who will support him in his new role.
"I'm excited for him, I'm excited for the show, I'm excited for people to get a new perspective on a Christmas Carol," cast member Brent Simpson said.
Wood III will have surgery next Friday and he says he hopes to return next year.
'A Christmas Carol' will be showing in Raleigh at the Progress Energy Center as well as at the Durham Performing Arts Center.