THE LOST COLONY TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF VIRGINIA DARE AT VIRGINIA DARE NIGHT
SPONSORED BY FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Wednesday August 18th, 2021
Waterside Theatre, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Home of The Lost Colony
The Lost Colony is proud to announce their annual Virginia Dare Night, which will be celebrating the 434th anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare tomorrow, August 18th. There will be an awards ceremony starting at 8:10, which will begin with the presentation of the 2021 Virginia Dare Babies and their families. Tomorrow evenings performance of The Lost Colony will begin shortly after the awards ceremony concludes. Virginia Dare Night is graciously sponsored by First National Bank. For information on tickets, please call The Lost Colony box office at 252-473-6000.
More information is available on the website at thelostcolony.org or by calling the Ticket Office at (252) 473-2127. The Lost Colony runs nightly through August 21st, Mondays through Saturdays.
The Roanoke Island Historical Association and The Lost Colony company members are thrilled with the overwhelming support of the reimagined 2021 The Lost Colony production.
Below are links to several earned media mentions and articles.
The Coastland Times-read here.
Broadway World-read here.
Coastal Review-read here.
The Outer Banks Voice-read here.
Laurinburge Exchange-read here.
Walter Magazine-read here.
Indy Week-read here.
Dance Magazine-read here.
Members of the The Lost Colony Artistic Team visited with the North Carolina Museum of History and their program History + Highballs. Jeff Whiting, Nicholas Mahon and Sam Davis shared their perspectives on various aspects of the creative process behind the reimagined production of The Lost Colony.
We are pleased to share this link of the interview and we hope you enjoy learning more about the work behind the magic. We are grateful to the North Carolina Museum of History for visiting with the team and for sharing the interview. Enjoy!
VIRGINIA DARE NIGHT BABY AUDITIONS TO BE
HELD AT THE LOST COLONY
The 84th Anniversary Season of The Lost Colony commemorates the 434 birthday of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World to colonist Eleanor Dare on August 18, 1587. The Lost Colony continues its long celebrated tradition of using real babies during the August 18th performance. Being a “Virginia Dare Baby” is a coveted role in the community that many local citizens have had the opportunity of being a part of. For Virginia Dare Night only, the prop baby swaddled in blankets, is replaced with these special guests. Virginia Dare Night is generously sponsored by First National Bank.
To be considered for the honor of appearing on stage, all babies must attend an audition meeting on Saturday, July 24th at 10:00 AM in The Lost Colony Admin Building located by the Elizabethan Gardens within Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. The casting is open to all cheerful boys and girls that are 15 pounds or less. All Virginia Dare babies must be available for several hours on the evening of August 18th for pre-show preparation and for The Lost Colony performance. All selected Virginia Dare babies will be introduced from the stage prior to the performance at 8:30 PM.
After missing a season in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA), opened the 84th annual production of Paul Green’s longest running drama, “The Lost Colony,” on May 28th.
The collaborators freshened the script, enlivened the dance, and lifted up aspects of Native American spirituality and culture as a more historically accurate and seamless part of the drama. We believe Paul Green would be proud of this effort, and hope that visitors to the Outer Banks will revisit the play in its present form.
“The Lost Colony” is a critical part of Paul Green’s distinctive artistic legacy in North Carolina and has made a long impression on generations of school-aged children and their parents who attend the play as a summer vacation ritual. Kevin Bradley, the current chair of the RIHA board was one of those children. Though he grew up in Maryland, Kevin said that attending “The Lost Colony” provided the best family memories of his childhood. Bradley and the RIHA board are working hard to sustain this North Carolina tradition for future generations.
-photo of opening night audience coming into the historic Waterside Theatre in Manteo for the 84th annual production of “The Lost Colony” by Paul Green. Photo by Donna Campbell.
Article Source: Paul Green Foundation News-Summer 2021.
The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) is proud to announce that the 84th Season of The Lost Colony, presented by PNC, opens May 28th, 2021. After the 83rd season was cancelled due to COVID, the RIHA Board of Directors and The Lost Colony staff are elated to welcome The Lost Colony guests back to historic Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island.
New Director/Choreographer Jeff Whiting is at the helm for the 2021 season. With accomplished and talented artistic and production teams, ticket holders can expect to see new musical compositions, spectacular special effects, beautiful choreography and an entirely refreshed production of Paul Green’s original symphonic drama.
“We are beyond excited to reveal this season’s production. I am so proud of our entire team for the tireless work creating a unique perspective and captivating portrayal of Paul Green’s original script.”- John Ancona, General Manager.
Joining The Lost Colony company for the 84th season, members of several Native American tribes, including North Carolina’s Lumbee Tribe, will debut in principal as well as supporting and directorial roles.
The Lost Colony has welcomed many new faces on stage in addition to talent behind the scenes for the 2021 season including: John Ancona as General Manager, Navajo and Tlingit Alaskan dancer and choreographer Jerad E. Todacheenie as the Artistic Team’s Associate Choreographer, and RIHA Board Member Harvey Godwin Jr., Chairman of the Lumbee Tribe.
The Lost Colony’s 84th season begins May 28th and runs through August 21st. The show begins at 8:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Tickets start at $20.
Join Director Jeff Whiting as he gives an exclusive sneak preview into the upcoming production of The Lost Colony. Learn about some of the new symphonic score inspired by Paul Green’s music, dynamic new staging and design elements which will be seen when the show opens May 28th.
To attend this sneak preview, use the link below to register for the webinar!
The Roanoke Island Historical Association has announced the dates for the local Outer Banks auditions for the 2021 season of The Lost Colony. Associate Producer for The Lost Colony, Lance Culpepper, has organized the auditions and will be joined by Director/Choreographer, Jeff Whiting, Associate Choreographer, Jerad Todacheenie, and Associate Director, Julie A Richardson.
Auditions will be held March 13th at the Waterside Theatre within Fort Raleigh on Roanoke Island.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions all participants must be masked and register in advance at thelostcolony.org. Actors will receive an audition time prior to the audition date with additional instructions. Current Federal, State, and local COVID guidelines will be observed. For the safety of our Staff and Auditionees, only those with a scheduled audition time will be allowed inside the Waterside Theatre.
For more information on The Lost Colony auditions and to apply for an audition time, visit here.
The Lost Colony Welcomes Associate Choreographer Jerad Todacheenie
The Roanoke Island Historical Association is proud to announce that Jerad E. Todacheenie
will join their artistic team as the Associate Choreographer for the 84th season of The Lost Colony.
Todacheenie is a Native American (Navajo/Tlingit Alaskan) dancer and choreographer originally from Shiprock, New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation. He has danced traditional and pow wow Native American dances throughout his life but is most proficient with the hoop dance. Jerad graduated from BYU where he joined the performing group, BYU’s Living Legends; A world traveling dance team that features the traditional dances of three cultures, in particular traditional Native American dances. He performed for five years with the Living Legends, three of which he taught and choreographed various numbers. Following graduation, he served as a guest choreographer on numerous local performances in Utah involving Native American culture, including: Luz De Las Naciones, Living Legends Circles, Christmas Around the World, local business events, and recently helped with BYU’s touring performance Spectacular in China.
Jerad shares his enthusiasm in joining The Lost Colony: “I am very excited and honored to be a part of The Lost Colony production. It is rare with historical pieces of any kind that directors seek the voices of those of indigenous descents. I was elated that Jeff and his team not only value but respect the Native American voice, traditions, culture, and beliefs. I am excited to see how the production turns out.”
The Lost Colony staff and RIHA Board of Directors are extremely pleased and enthusiastic to introduce Jerad E. Todacheenie as their new Associate Choreographer.
“We are thrilled to have someone with Jerad’s extensive background and expertise as well as his deep involvement in the Native American culture joining our artistic team.”-John Ancona, General Manager of Roanoke Island Historical Association.
Arthur ‘Lynn’ Lockrow was born on November 21, 1945 in Nyskiuna, New York and passed away on January 3, 2021. Lynn lived on Roanoke Island with the love of his life Gigi Grill (who passed away several years ago) and enjoyed visits with her son, Nathan Voodoo. He loved his two wondrous felines, Bogey and Smudge; he also cared for several cats that hung out around his home.
Lynn enjoyed floating the waters around Roanoke Island on his sailboat ‘The Manx’. His friends waited for the call to assist with either putting the mast up or down every year. His other hobbies included working on and flying radio-controlled model airplanes, painting, drawing and aviation history. In his spare time he watched his beloved University of Auburn teams play: ‘Go War Eagles!’
Lynn enjoyed his summers working at The Lost Colony. He served as Technical Director 1973 – 1977, Production Manager 1989 – 1990, Production Stage Manager from 1978 -1985, 1998 – 1999 and 2001. Gigi and Nathan also appeared in the show, a true family affair.
Lynn was a teacher, mentor and friend to many…
He will be remembered…fondly.
In remembrance of Marc Basnight, former President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate and Alumnus of The Lost Colony and the Roanoke Island Historical Association.
Marc Basnight was proud to be a Roanoke Islander, a Dare Countian and a North Carolinian. He loved people. Like Mark Twain, he had the ability to look beyond a difference of opinion, and find something to like about everyone he met.
As a young man who possessed a voracious appetite for reading, he entered the world of North Carolina politics. After a short stint serving on the NC Board of Transportation, he served in the state senate for 26 years—18 of which as President Pro Tempore, “making him the longest serving head of a legislative body in North Carolina history.” With his power & influence, he made a positive—and long-lasting impact on transportation, education and the environment in the state.
He loved making North Carolina a better place to live. He also loved Paul Green’s The Lost Colony, and was committed to its longevity.
In 1957, young Marc auditioned for a role in the play and became the first member of his family to be selected for a ‘speaking role’ in the production. He portrayed George Howe, Jr.—one of the little boys who appear in the Fishnet Scene, carrying fish they have caught & sassafras roots they found. His line: “And see the sassafras roots. They will make good tea for father’s fever.” He held the role from 1957-1959, switching over to colonist child in 1960, and returning in 1961 to play both a colonist child and George Howe Jr. Marc’s mother was also in the show from 1957-1959 & again in 1961 doubling & sometimes tripling up as Agona, Manteo’s wife, and a colonist.His sister Della was there in 1957 & 1959-1961 as a colonist woman.
Years later, Marc served on the Roanoke Island Historical Association’s Board of Directors in 1980-1981; and 1986-1993. During his professional career, Marc fought to strengthen the Arts in the state, and was instrumental in securing funding for arts and arts education non-profits—RIHA & The Lost Colony among them. From state allocations to aid outdoor dramas; to supporting Emma Neal Morrison & Andy Griffith in their formation of an endowment for the organization; to establishing a scholarship in honor of his mother; to launching a golf tournament as a fund-raiser, Marc Basnight helped The Lost Colony, and many other state arts organizations enrich the culture of the areas they serve. In 1994, RIHA voted to make him an Honorary Vice Chairman for life.
Like Paul Green’s John Borden, Marc Basnight “rowed the sounds and tramped the bogs and wilderness of salt-sea grass” of the Outer Banks and saw his destiny. In his heart, he held a tender love of our heritage, and we are all the better for it.
“Thank ‘ee”…Marc… “Thank ‘ee…you will be remembered.”
Update-December 18, 2020
The Roanoke Island Historical Association follows the guidelines set by North Carolina and the CDC. For updated information on current Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions click here.
As we approach the 2021 Season, all ticket holders will be made aware of any restrictions and practices that the Roanoke Island Historical Association will have in place during the performances.
We look forward to welcoming The Lost Colony supporters for the 84th Season!
One Thousand Performances and a Lost Colony Family with a Drawer full of Ragged Company T-shirts
Written by Don Bridge
I had the good fortune to play ‘Old Tom’ in The Lost Colony from 1992 through 97. Old Tom has many moments in the show – some funny and some poignant. But there is a moment, actually more than a moment, that few people realize. Old Tom spends a great part of Act One laying in the bushes. At the beginning of the Queen’s Garden scene, he goes into the bushes next to the Queen’s Stage and stays there through the approximately twenty-minute scene, to emerge when the fireworks are set off.
So, I spent twenty minutes of every performance for six years laying in the bushes. I totaled that time spent in the bushes and it comes out to 7,800 minutes or five and a half days. What did I think about while I laid in the bushes? To be honest, mostly about the possibility of snakes, and whether or not it was going to rain. But once those worries were appeased, I thought about other things and I often wondered what it was about The Lost Colony that made it such an enduring attraction.
Those six years were very special. Not only was I in the Colony, but so was my family. My wife Lisa started in the choir and then played midwife Dame Colman for two seasons. Soon Lisa was promoted to the role of Queen Elizabeth for what would become a seven-year reign. Our two children, Max and Alice, were also in the show as Colonist children. Max did a two-year stint as Native American child Wano.
In 1995 my family relocated to Manteo full-time and the Bridge Family remained a part of the Colony till 1997. After those “five and a half days” in the bushes my question of “What makes The Lost Colony such an enduring attraction?” was still largely unanswered. As it turned out, my time with the Colony wasn’t done yet and I would still have time to ponder those thoughts.
In 1999 I got a last-minute call to play the role of Ananias Dare, father of Virginia Dare and part of the intriguing love triangle between Eleanor, Ananias and John Borden. Every night, I died spectacularly face-first into the sand. In 2003 I was once again called in at the last minute to play Governor John White. And, as if the stars had aligned – that year my wife was Queen Elizabeth I. It was a blast to play opposite my wife, the Queen, that year!
Years passed until I once again heard the siren call, luring me back to The Lost Colony. I returned in 2011 as Father Martin, shepherd to the colonist flock. Father Martin does have his significant moments in the show. But, he becomes very sick during the second act and spends about twenty minutes laying in his cabin bed – hobbling forth every now and then to say “Amen!” Though I didn’t have to worry about snakes or rain – I feared heat stroke on those sweltering summer nights from the authentic bear skin blanket over me! After surviving three seasons as Father Martin, I racked up three more days of time thinking about The Big Show (as we call it) and why it is so special.
Another a couple of years later I returned once again in the role of the Historian/Storyteller. That is the role I am currently playing again in 2019 – yes that is me out there on the stage. This is my fourth year in the role. So – over the course of 27 years I have played five principal roles under five different directors. At some point this summer I will deliver my 1000th performance.
Why is The Lost Colony such an enduring attraction? Paul Green’s The Lost Colony is history doubled – or history squared as I like to call it. The story it tells of England’s early attempts to colonize the New World is a riveting tale, but the makings and history of The Lost Colony production is itself a remarkable story! For over 80 years it has been performed at the Waterside Theatre, surviving wars, hurricanes, depressions and societal upheaval. It is history playing history!
The roots of Mr. Green’s Symphonic Drama are many. Written at the height of the Great Depression, the threads of popular entertainment are woven together with Mr. Green’s ideologies of equality. It’s right out of the movies of the 1930s! Imagine Tyrone Power as Borden, with Vivian Leigh as Eleanor Dare and Walter Brennen as Old Tom! Mr. Green even threw in a heaping helping of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (the most popular outdoor attraction of the early 20th century). The Big Battle scene is lifted from Buffalo Bill’s “Attack on the Settler’s Cabin.”
This is a uniquely American story, made up of American storytelling style and presentation and composed of elements that are distinctly American. Mr. Green may have included what Mark Twain called ‘stretchers,’ but that makes for good storytelling and keeps the tale fresh.
I realized from my time in the Colony, that we need The Lost Colony to keep us grounded and remind us where we came from and why we keep going. We need The Lost Colony to continue to tell this important story. We need The Lost Colony to teach young actors how important their parts are to the story even if they are lying in the bushes or under a bear skin. It’s an American story that needs to be told.
From Kevin Bradley, RIHA Chairman:
‘We are deeply saddened by the loss of Don Bridge. Don was an amazing performer and a wonderful man whose light shined brightly. Don’s life will have a lasting effect on everyone who knew him. The Lost Colony family will miss Don Bridge immensely.’
The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) is pleased to announce that John Ancona will become its new General Manager, effective December 1, 2020. John comes from Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) which is the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation, operating entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties in 23 locations in six states. In his most recent position with HFE, John served as the Director of Entertainment and Events. John produced, operated and managed festival & live entertainment product and personnel for Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.
RIHA Chairman Kevin Bradley states that “John Ancona is a game changer for RIHA and The Lost Colony. His skillsets are a perfect fit for the organization as we look towards our future. We believe John has the practical experience and extraordinary vision that is necessary to take RIHA to new levels of excellence. We are extremely pleased to add John to our leadership team”.
Prior to his 13 year run at HFE, John worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines where he managed the daily operations of 12 ships worldwide which included 250+ shipside personnel, a direct-reporting shore-side team of Managers and Supervisors as well as multiple Production Companies, Entertainment Agencies, free-lance Directors, Designers, Contractors and Entertainment Technical Vendors. John also produced and operated all new and existing entertainment programs and special events. He created and managed the schedule for the creative, production, rehearsal and installation process of all new entertainment product from conception to completion.
John recently shared a few thoughts around coming to The Lost Colony. “It is with both pride and humility that I have the great privilege of being a part of our country’s longest-running outdoor theatrical production The Lost Colony. I am very much looking forward to working alongside such an extraordinarily talented cast, crew and creative team, in preserving its legacy for future generations and becoming immersed in the beautiful culture of the Roanoke Island and Outer Banks communities”.