First performed in 1937, The Lost Colony is the nationâ€™s longest-running outdoor symphonic drama. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning, and North Carolina native playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colonyâ€™s 77th anniversary season opens May 30 and plays through August 22, 2014 at The Waterside Theatre in the town of Manteo, on beautiful Roanoke Island, located on North Carolinaâ€™s Outer Banks.
Commissioned by Roanoke Island residents, who had a long tradition of celebrating their place in American history, The Lost Colony is a unique combination of drama, song, and dance — born out of a desire by locals to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare. On July 4, 1937, The Lost Colony opened to a packed house in the magnificent Waterside Theatre — the very spot where the colonists settled.
From the beginning, The Lost Colony has been faced withbchallenges. The production was suspended or four years during World War II, as German U-boats prowled the ocean just off the Outer Banks. In 1947, Waterside Theatre burned to the ground — only to be quickly rebuilt by local residents. And in 1960, Hurricane Donna pummeled Roanoke Island, carrying most of Waterside Theatre into the sound. The theatre was reconstructed in time for the 1961 season.
Over 70 years in production, The Lost Colony has evolved into a statewide and national treasure. It has served as the training ground for over 5,000 actors and technicians, including such famous personalities as Andy Griffith, Terrance Mann, William Ivey Long, and Senator Marc Basnight. It has entertained over three million people from all walks of life since its debut in 1937. But, in the end, The Lost Colony belongs to the people of Roanoke Island who have cherished and nurtured the drama from its infancy.
The Lost Colony is the â€œgrandfatherâ€ of all outdoor dramas and is produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA), a non-profit whose mission is to celebrate the history of the first English colonies on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, and to honor the founders of The Lost Colony symphonic drama through drama, education, and literature.
Over 200 actors, technicians, designers and volunteers rehearse each spring to bring The Lost Colony to life for another summer season. The production is enormous. The stage itself is over three times larger than most Broadway stages in New York. You will be seated in the center of the stage area with action happening on three sides of you and even sometimes right next to you in the aisle!
Witness epic battles and ceremonial Indian dances. Experience the sorrow and heartbreak of tragedy and loss. Take in the pageantry of the Queen and her court and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare â€“ the first English child born in the new world. There is music, laughter, romance and dance — and you won’t be disappointed.
If you are attending the show, you should plan on arriving around 30 minutes prior to start time. This gives you plenty of time to park, pick up your tickets, take some pictures, etc. Parking is very close to the box office but there is about a 150 yard walk from the box office into the theatre, so plan accordingly.
The theatre opens for seating at 7:30 (7:00 on Mondays) and the play begins promptly at 8:00 (7:30 on Mondays). Late arrivals may be delayed from being seated at the discretion of the house manager. The outdoor drama is performed in two one hour acts with a 15 minute intermission. Restrooms, gift shop and concessions are available.
For more information, including ticket pricing and purchasing options, please call (252) 473-6000 or visit The Lost Colony website.