The Show

The 2024 Season of The Lost Colony begins May 30th, 2024. An experience not to be missed! The Lost Colony offers a refreshed production of Paul Green's original symphonic drama. Set on the soundfront on Roanoke Island, enjoy this 86 year-old Symphonic Drama under the stars. Become immersed in the story of the discovery of a new world with newly enhanced musical and theatrical direction and dynamically stunning choreography. Witness the pageantry of Queen Elizabeth I and her court and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America all while preserving the historical importance of America's oldest mystery. An Outer Banks experience not to be missed!

The Settlement at Roanoke

The Lost Colony

In 1587, 117 English men, women and children came ashore on Roanoke Island to establish a permanent English settlement in the New World. Just three years later in 1590, when English ships returned to bring supplies, they found the island deserted with no sign of the colonists. After nearly 450 years, the mystery of what happened to the colonists remains unsolved.


Sir Walter Raleigh funds an expeditionary voyage from Plymouth to America to investigate whether it would be possible to set up a colony.


Five ships and two pinnaces carrying the first settlers set sail from Plymouth.


Food is scarce. Governor Lane sends parties to the coast and to the mainland to live on shellfish and to look for any ships.


Sir Walter Raleigh organizes another expedition. This time, women and children are allowed to make the voyage.


A group of friendly Croatoan Amerindians accuse the Roanoke Amerindians of killing the 15 men left by Grenville. The settlers decide to get revenge by attacking the town of Dasamonquepeuc. However, the Roanoke Indians have fled and it is the Croatoans who are attacked.


The first child of English parents is born on August 18th, 1587 in the settlement to Eleanor and Ananais Dare. The baby girl is called 'Virginia'. Her grandfather, Governor White, decides to return to England for needed supplies and promises to return by Christmas. Shortly after he arrives in England, the Spanish Armada attacks and his ship is banned from returning to Roanoke Island.


Three years later, Governor White is able to organize a relief expedition and returns to the colony. The supply ships reach Hatoraske, a harbor near Roanoke Island, and start to look for the settlers.


At Roanoke Island, the party finds the word CROATOAN carved into the palisades, and the letters CRO carved into a nearby tree. White decides that the settlers must have moved to Croatoan.


White tries to get to Croatoan but bad weather forces him to abandon the mission.

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  • Great Story; Great Production!

    "Each summer the story of he Lost Colony comes to life at the Waterside Theatre in Manteo on the Outer Banks of NC. It’s funny at times (Old Tom is the comic relief), informative, and poignant. The Native American dances, as well as the fight scenes, are spectacular. Paul Green’s script holds up bringing history to life. As a Manteo resident, I’ve seen this yearly over 20 times; I still haven’t tired of the play. Sitting under the stars, looking out over the sound, it’s definitely a must-do!"

  • Unforgettable outdoor drama – better than ever

    "Unforgettable outdoor drama- better than ever. The weather was perfect for our visit with a slight breeze, so the insects were held back. The actors were amazing, fight scenes were realistic, costumes were fabulous. Audio was perfect highly understandable, not too loud or soft. The narrator came in & out of scenes to explain the story better so even young kids could properly understand the real history of America’s oldest outdoor drama. Afterwards a brief time to take pics with a few actors. Seats were comfortable with no poor location. I can’t think of one thing that could be done to make this any better."

  • Loved it!

    "This was my first time seeing any type of outdoor play. All the actors, props, and everything make you feel like you’re really there in that time period. I’m delighted that we came to see such a wonderful, well written (and portrayed) play about the Lost Colony. I hope to be in the area in the future so I can see the play again. This was truly an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life."

  • Well worth the ticket price

    "As a theatre lover, I always try to see a performance whenever I can. Since this is the first time that my wife and I are visiting the Outer Banks and staying in Manteo, I thought that we should see “The Lost Colony”. I opted for the higher priced seats and we were in row H almost in the center and had an excellent view of the entire performance. The historical aspects of the play were very interesting, acting and scenery excellent and some of the singers had beautiful voices."