Actor / Director/ Writer/ Producer / CEO, Plaza Noir Inc., British Columbia & California. Born: Los Angeles, California.
Charles Woods Gray has a myriad of experience in the entertainment industry. Born into a “Hollywood showbiz family” he started off, at the early age of seven, singing impromptu with his father’s vocal group, The Ink Spots. With providence, he formed his own band, Songbird, and shortly thereafter acquired a record contract with GRT which took him from L.A. to Canada. After several years of touring, recording and ‘rockin’ da house’, Charles became interested in the closeness and intimacy of the theatre. Accordingly, he became a thespian; his hunger to understand the inner-workings of this medium became the catalyst to his writing, producing and directing for the stage.
Eventually Charles became Artistic Director of his own theatre company, Black Arts Theatre, in Vancouver, B.C. and had several successes along the way, such as the city, theatre and national tour of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Not Enough. He moved to Toronto to mount yet another production of For Colored Girls… for Gray/Wynn Productions, and wrote/produced and directed the multi-media production, Aint Noth’n but a Party, for the Arts Against Apartheid Festival. He then co-ventured with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to produce and direct the very first Black production of Fences, which proved to be successful.
Synchronous to this was his foray into television & film. Charles’ first TV venture was The Nice Show (CBC), in which he wrote, produced and starred. Finding his niche, he has produced, directed and written for film, TV, and stage with his own company and as a freelancer, for the past fifteen years, and has worked closely with CBS, ABC, NBC, BET, USA, The Family Channel, Showtime, FOX, and others. All the while, he never stopped acting. From small, independent works to “Hollywood blockbusters,” Charles has garnered quite the resume, including The Human Stain with Sir Anthony Hopkins; Stella, with Bette Midler; Ellen Foster with Julie Harris; Champagne Charlie with Hugh Grant; The District; Soul Food; and Family Law, just to name a few.
Presently, his interest lies in producing independent theatrical/internet cable films for the domestic and international marketplace. He recently formed Masala Roux Filmworks, Plaza Noir Inc. where his primary purpose will be to develop, produce, and distribute culturally diverse projects, which will be of the highest calibre and brilliance.
Favourite book? One of my favourite books would be Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. I find the perspective very interesting; the way the story unfolds.
Favourite quote? “We think much less than what we love, we love much less than what there is, and to this precise extent, we are much less than what we are.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Spend a few years in Africa working in a small rural village with children
Who or what inspires you? I have too many heroes and sheroes to list. What inspires me is self -awareness and the giving of oneself.
Why do you do what you do? I believe that all we do on this planet is relate to one another. I would like to positively relate to as many people as I can. That is why I do what I do.