Local Auditions for The Lost Colony Announced

Become a Cast Member for the 2024 Season

The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) has announced the dates for local auditions for the 87th season of The Lost Colony.  Director and Choreographer Jeff Whiting and team will hold local auditions from 10am-5pm on Saturday, March 9th, 2024.  

Auditions will take place at Manteo High School, 829 Wingina Ave, Manteo, NC. Registration opens at 9:30am and auditions will begin at 10:00am.  

 “Telling this epic historic tale is no small task and bringing it to life requires incredibly dedicated actors each season. It’s been thrilling to see so many passionate performers join the company and work together to share this important story with our audiences each night”-Jeff Whiting.

To register for the auditions, visit thelostcolony.org/auditions. Registrants will receive an audition time once they have registered. Everyone attending the auditions is requested to bring a recent photograph and resume. Additional information will be collected at the time of registration. 

The Lost Colony Asks For Support to Meet Fundraising Goal 

$100K In 100 Days Challenge
The Lost Colony 
has recently announced a fundraising goal, created by members of The Roanoke Island Association’s Anonymous Trust. If the organization can raise $100,000 in new donations by March 31, 2024, they will receive an additional $100,000 from the Trust. New donations, increased donations or new sponsorships will all count toward the goal of $100,000.  

“The Roanoke Island Historical Association is, of course, honored by this generous gift from the Anonymous Trust, but we are also energized. This is a do-or-don’t challenge. Nothing fires up an organization and its supporters like a big money deadline. We call on all the Lost Colony’s friends and supporters to join us in giving a little extra to meet this generous challenge.”-Chuck Still, Executive Director.

This challenge is meant to help increase donations to The Roanoke Island Historical Association in support of The Lost Colony annual production. For 86 years, the Roanoke Island Historical Association has met the challenge of producing The Lost ColonyDespite storm, fire, burning sands and stinging insects, this important story has been told, night after night to millions of inspired patrons. This spring, support this legacy with a gift to the Roanoke Island Historical Association and the Anonymous Challenge.

Become part of the Anonymous Challenge and Help Us Reach Our Goal of…$100K in 100 Days. 

All donations are requested and appreciated. View more information at www.lostcolonychallenge.com

The Lost Colony Announces 2024 Season

PNC Bank Returns as Presenting Sponsor

The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) is proud to announce tickets for the 87th season of The Lost Colony are now on sale. The season will begin May 30 and run through Aug. 24, 2024. For the seventh year, PNC Bank returns as the presenting sponsor of The Lost Colony.2024 The Lost Colony Season Announcement

“Every arts organization is dependent on the philanthropy of those that love it, and it is the steadfast supporters who carry the most weight, for they are the bedrock of the institution,” said Chuck Still, executive director of the Roanoke Island Historical Association. We thank PNC Bank for its continued generosity, and we look forward to the 2024 season with its support as our bedrock.” .

The popular Native Pre-Show, a Native American cultural presentation, will also return for 2024. This free performance by Indigenous members of The Lost Colony cast takes place at 8:00 p.m., Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

“For 87 years, The Lost Colony has helped tell the story of our region’s history and culture, while attracting generations of visitors and creating economic impact for the Outer Banks and our state,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president for Eastern Carolinas. “All of us at PNC look forward to helping Roanoke Island Historical Association continue its legacy of helping inform and inspire audiences with this celebrated outdoor drama of local and national acclaim.”

Tickets for the 87th season of The Lost Colony can be purchased by visiting the website: www.thelostcolonyorg.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

About The Lost Colony…the proud recipient of the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre.

First staged in 1937, The Lost Colony is the nation’s premier and longest-running outdoor symphonic drama. Adapted from the original script written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony’s 87th season will run from May 30-Aug. 24, 2024, at Manteo’s Waterside Theatre, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. For tickets and more information, go to www.thelostcolony.org or call (252) 473-6000.

28th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration

The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA), producers of The Lost Colony, will be in Raleigh this weekend, November 18th, at the North Carolina Museum of History to participate in the 28th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration (AIHC).

With a Virtual Education Day on Friday, November 17th and an in-person festival on Saturday, November 18th, multiple demonstrations, presentations, and performances highlight the traditional and contemporary artistic, scientific, historic, and cultural contributions of American Indians in North Carolina.

The consistent theme and message of AIHC, as expressed by its Advisory Board, is visibility: Indigenous people are still here!Auditions-at-the-American-Indian-Heritage-Celebration

Several The Lost Colony alumni will be participating in the event, and The Roanoke Island Historical Association will be at the event to show support for the alumni and also to audition Native American performers for the upcoming 2024 season.

The Roanoke Island Historical Association will have an informational table inside the museum from 10am-4pm, followed by auditions for The Lost Colony at 4pm in the Museum Auditorium.

To register for these auditions, please visit the informational table at the event to register. No prior registration is required.

“We look forward to returning to the American Indian Heritage Celebration. We want to cast as wide a net as possible for the 2024 Native Ensemble and that process starts with auditions in Raleigh at the Celebration”, says Chuck Still, Executive Director of the Roanoke Island Historical Association.

“Everyone here at the NC museum of history and the American Indian tribal communities across the state are looking forward to the American Indian Heritage Month celebration this weekend! We are particularly excited about partnering with The Lost Colony outdoor drama to provide a space for auditions for Native roles in the production and we encourage tribal member participation from throughout the state”, says Kaya Littleturtle, Community Programs Coordinator for the North Carolina Museum of History and Cultural Coordinator for The Lost Colony.

For more information about the auditions, please email info@thelostcolony.org or call 252-473-2127. For information about the American Indian Heritage Celebration, view here.

Toronto Sun Featured Story

Toronto Sun Features The Lost Colony in a recent article

In collaboration with The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, writer Laura Nelles visited the Outer Banks in August of 2023 and did a feature story on the barrier islands.

“If your dream job is “beach” and sun, salt and sand are your jam, you don’t have to look far to find a spot to stretch out on”-Laura Nelles, The Toronto Sun.The Lost Colony Featured in The Toronto Sun

During Laura’s visit, she traveled up and down the Outer Banks via HWY NC12. She mentioned it was her first time to the Outer Banks and she was getting the “full experience!”

Outer Banks Restaurant Experiences

NC Coast Grill & Bar-Ms. Nelles visited Duck, NC and enjoyed a waterfront lunch at NC Coast. Her meal included their fresh-caught tuna tacos.

Goombays-Cajun crab soup and fish & chips were on the menu for her late dinner at Goombays Raw Bar & Grill!

As she made her way down HWY NC12, Ms. Nelles visited Outer Banks landmarks such as the Wright Brothers National Monument, Bodie Island Lighthouse, Pea Island and more.

During Ms. Nelles final night, she enjoyed an evening at Waterside Theatre and experienced The Lost Colony.

“The production is excellent-lighting, sound, music, and choreography are all top-notch,”-Laura Nelles The Lost Colony experience.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to host Ms. Nelles and the article featured in The Toronto Sun!
Read the full article here.



2023 The Lost Colony Photo Contest

The 2023 The Lost Colony Photo Contest is now open! Submit your best memories from your visit to Fort Raleigh and Waterside Theatre for your chance to win The Lost Colony swag bag containing The Lost Colony merchandise!

2023 The Lost Colony Photo Contest Details:

September 21-October 1st, 2023
Submissions can be emailed to: thelostcolonymarketing@gmail.com

All submissions agree to have their photos used in future marketing.

2023 Company Awards

On August 18, 2023, Company Awards were presented to the following people:

Bob Knowles Award: Ashley Averette Stephens 

Evelyn Russell Layton Award: Katie Smith & Mallory Green

Cora Mae Basnight Memorial Scholarship: Ethan Oxendine 

A. Lynn Lockrow Backstage Award: Meg Hashem 

Robert Midgette Alumni Association Award: Benedetto Robinson

Bradford Fearing Producers Award: Charlie Gravatte 

Congrats to all the award recipients and thank you for your hard work and dedication to The Lost Colony.

Keepers of The Dream June 29

The Keepers of the Dream Medallion is awarded to Alumni of The Lost Colony. On June 29, 2023 the following alumni were presented with the medallion during a pre-show ceremony.

Thank you for Keeping the Dream Alive:
Megan Tatum, Emily Mohler, Dave Holton

Keepers of The Dream
Left to right; Sir Walter Raleigh (Joey Cassella), Megan Tatum, Emily Mohler, Dave Holton.

The next Keeper of the Dream Ceremony is July 13th.
Reserve your The Lost Colony Tickets.

The Lost Colony Virginia Dare Baby Night Auditions


The Lost Colony Virginia Dare Baby Night Auditions will be held July 22nd, 2023. The 86th Anniversary Season of The Lost Colony commemorates the 436th birthday of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World to colonist Eleanor Dare on August 18th, 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.

Virginia Dare Night Baby Auditions

To be considered for the honor of appearing on stage, all babies must attend an audition meeting on Saturday, July 22nd at 10:30 AM in The Lost Colony Admin Building located beside the Elizabethan Gardens within Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.  The address for The Lost Colony admin building is 1409 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27949. 

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.

For more information on The Lost Colony Virginia Dare Baby Night Auditions, contact Matt Gabbard, 252-473-2127 or mgabbard@thelostcolony.org

The Keeper Of The Dream Ceremony 2023

The Keeper Of The Dream 2023 June 29, July 13, August 3, and August 17

The Keeper of the Dream Ceremony is awarded to Alumni of The Lost Colony production. RIHA (Roanoke Island Historical Association) will award select alumni with the KEEPER OF THE DREAM Medallion throughout the 86th Anniversary Season in a pre-show ceremony designed to honor our alumni and our ever growing family of Keepers of the Dream.
The award medallions will be presented on four occasions, June 29, July 13, August 3, and August 17. If you are an Alumnus of the production and interested in receiving the award, please fill out this form and let us know which of these dates you can attend to receive the award.

Reserve your tickets during one of the selected Keeper of The Dream Nights.

Keeper of the dream ceremony
2022 Keeper of The Dream Ceremony recipients

End of the Year Field Trip to The Lost Colony

The Oak Leaf Academy homeschool recently took their end of the year field trip to visit Fort Raleigh and The Lost Colony. While learning about US history and the first English settlement, the question arose-“what happened to the colony?”.
The students were given an all-access backstage tour and meet and great with members of the cast!

Tiffany DiDonato described their field trip and experience here:

“And that’s a wrap 5th grade! Tonight marked our final field trip of the year (and our first ever professional play seen together)! And what better way to literally say, “PEACE OUT Elementary School!” than to say it surrounded by the cast of The Lost Colony. 

Titan has been knee deep studying the history of the US. And in chapter 36 he learned that the first English settlers didn’t step foot on Plymouth Rock. Rather, the first attempted English settlement was right here in his home state of North Carolina. But what happened to the colony is a mystery. 

Titan has also expressed an interest in acting! So, imagine his surprise when we visited the sands the colony stepped on, the monument that represents the first English baby (Virginia Dare) to be born here, and then to sat front row at the symphonic performance that depicts it all. 

What a amazing submersive play about the history of our nation. Huge shout out to the cast for a fantastic performance . They BECAME their characters and in turn BECAME living history without missing a beat in terms of expression, song, dance, and gesture! 

When I tell you I have never met a more caring, inclusive, and kind cast—I mean it! They made my rising 6th grader feel so spoiled with autographs, acting tips, hugs, backstage tour, and words of encouragement towards his future endeavors. The secret to memorizing lines to perfection? Thriving and excellent with Dyslexia and ADHD? Yes, they discussed all that, too! So many more pictures to come, but for now I lead with this gem. 

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. Go see this play and be WOWED like we were. #oakleafacademy”

We are thrilled that this group had such an incredible time!

Opening Night Review

The Outer Banks Voice Gives an Opening Night Review of the 86th Season:

The opening night review is in! Kip Tabb, writer for The Outer Banks Voice, gave a candid and delightful review of this year’s performance. Read the full article below.

Curtain rose for 86th season on June 2

The 2023 version of The Lost Colony offers a great night of theater under the stars. The special effects are compelling; the pacing of the play is brisk but keeps the story line intact; and there is not a weak link among the actors.

There is something for everyone in this year’s play. The choreography is superb. Imani Joseph, reprising her role from last year as the Troubadour Dancer, is a highlight of the play and is mesmerizing in her performance.

The fight scenes are very well done. The sword fight between Simon Fernando (Benedetto Robinson) and John Borden (Luke Stage) in particular stood out. It was during the sword fight that Anais Dare’s pledge to always have Borden’s back is confirmed as he comes to the aid of his friend and, unknown to him, a rival for the affections of his wife, Eleanor (Mckenzie Troyer).

The musical performances overall were excellent. Our Song, performed by Olyvia Gregg, Katie Smith and Simone Gutierrez truly stood out. Their voices blended perfectly and the song itself helped to explain their hopes and dreams in the New World.

Perhaps most importantly, Paul Green’s 1937 play has been updated. While Green was a master at blending character development and plot to create the storyline, the play desperately needed updating in the pacing of that plot and in how a number of the characters were depicted.

Not all of the updating worked. Eleanor Dare was presented as too much of a 21st Century woman. She has been a strong character in the play, but she now seems so outspoken about the role women should have in the colony, and about their place in society, that it seems inconsistent with 16th Century mores. That is not a criticism of Troyer’s performance, which was wonderful, rather noting a characterization that seems inconsistent.

Significantly though, the racist depictions of the Native American peoples in the original script have been revised. The principal parts of the Roanoke and Croatan tribes are played by indigenous peoples, primarily from the Lumbee Tribe.

No longer do they speak in simplified English, and from the outset, it is clear from the interaction with the English when they first arrive on Roanoke Island that the native peoples are a sovereign nation and that they have a king—King Wingina (Cam Bryant).

The interaction between John White, played by local actor Stuart Parks, establishes that the two leaders share a vision of peaceful coexistence, and perhaps even a friendship. It is Wingina’s decision to send Manteo (Nakya Leviner) and Wanchese (Ethan Oxendine) to England, hoping that by learning the language and customs of the English, his people would be better able to coexist.

It is there that Manteo and Wanchese meet Queen Elizabeth I ((Libby Otos) in all her opulent glory.

While Wanchese and Manteo are in England, Elizabeth sends 100 men under the command of Captain Ralph Lane (Aaron Coleman) to establish a foothold in the New World.

The depiction of Lane in the 2023 play is an improvement over the ineffectual court fop presented last year. In this portrayal, Lane is seen as a social climber who will do anything to advance himself. If he has to kill Wingina to make himself seem strong and willful, he will not hesitate.

Historically it is known that Lane was a violent military leader who ordered the death of Wingina—a death that contributed to Sir Walter Raleigh’s failed attempt to colonize the New World.

How Wingina’s death is presented is another notable improvement. For the past two years, that was depicted by a large puppet owl, the owl being the symbol of death for a number of Native American people.

Symbolically that may work; realistically it was hard to recognize what happened. This year, the owl was there, but the death of Wingina is called out. And it sets up one of the most powerful scenes of the play.

When Manteo and Wanchese return from England, they learn of the death of Wingina, and they argue different, yet equally valid, points of view.

Manteo sees the path forward as cooperation, arguing that there are so many of the English, with technologies that the Native Americans could use, that working with them was the best way to insure their survival. Wanchese sees the English as filthy, (in the 16th Century, they were) untrustworthy invaders who will steal the land if they are not stopped.

As performed by Leviner and Oxendine, the clash of ideas made for compelling theater.

That clash of ideas comes to a head when the colonists arrive and Wanchese tells White the only way to appease the Roanoke tribe is for the colonists to leave. The colonists decide to stay, but short on provisions and without the help of the indigenous peoples, who themselves were struggling through an extended drought, the colony must have more supplies.

It is for that reason John White returns to England, seeking resupply for the colony. But the Spanish have declared war upon the England and the Queen will allow no English ships to leave port. White pleads with the Queen to allow just two ships to sail for the colony. Falling on his knees, he cries out that it is his daughter and granddaughter that are there and will die without the supplies.

But to no avail, as word comes that a Spanish Armada is approaching England.

Left on their own, the colonists face a desperate situation. Without the help of the Native Americans, there is not enough food to survive. Anais Dare is killed in a raid by the Roanoke tribe, and the village is under constant threat of attack.

It is at this time that perhaps the seminal speech of the play is delivered by Old Tom (Chris Rothbauer).

In England, Tom was the town drunk, a man ridiculed and reviled by the people who knew him. But in the new world, he is remade, finding strength he did not know he had and a wife, Agona, who now speaks.

It is at this desperate moment that Tom stands guard upon the palisade protecting the homes, that he marvels at the change that has come over him.

“Roanoke, o’ Roanoke, thou hast made a man out of me,” he cries out. And the words are as powerful now as they were when Green first wrote them.

When Green wrote The Lost Colony, the nation was engulfed in the Great Depression, and Tom’s message of hope and resilience was a call to believe in the potential of a troubled nation. It is perhaps for that reason that his words have as much impact today as they did when they were first spoken 86 years ago.

“There is something for everyone in this year’s play. The choreography is superb. Imani Joseph, reprising her role from last year as the Troubadour Dancer, is a highlight of the play and is mesmerizing in her performance.”-Tabb. Read the full opening night review article here.

Opening Night Review
Opening Night Review

Local’s Dare Nights at The Lost Colony

Sponsored by Midgett Insurance, the Dare Nights for 2023 are set for; June 9th, June 16th and June 23rd. Dare Nights are free for Dare, Currituck,Tyrell and Hyde County residents with a minimum donation of 3 non-perishable items to the local food pantries. Dare Nights are also open to general public

Dare Nights Food Pantries
June 9th-Roanoke Island Food Pantry: View needed items here.
June 16th-Beach Food Pantry
June 23rd-Beach Food Pantry

Please arrive early and make sure you have your Dare or Currituck ID and your canned goods. 

The Lost Colony begins at 8:30pm nightly. The gates to the Waterside Theatre open at 7:30pm. On Tuesdays, Friday and Saturday nights, the Free Native American Pre-Show begins at 8 pm.

Buy Tickets

Preview Night To Support The SPCA

The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) has announced a preview night on Thursday, June 1st, 2023 that will also support the Outer Banks SPCA. 

General admission tickets for preview night are $20 for adults and $10 for children or donations for the SPCA are being accepted in lieu of the ticket price. A great way to experience The Lost Colony ahead of the season opening and support the local SPCA, don’t miss this opportunity. 

“Thanks to The Lost Colony for supporting the Outer Banks SPCA on the preview night of the 2023 season. We are always in need of food and supplies for the animals at the Dare County Animal Shelter and the generous support of your patrons is greatly appreciated . Best wishes for a successful season!”-Bill Coleman, Executive Director of the Outer Banks SPCA. 

View the full list of donations needed for the SPCA here. One donation is recommended for each ticket purchase. 

To reserve ahead for the June 1st preview night, you can purchase General Admission tickets through www.thelostcolony.org/ticket-info or bring your SPCA donations the night of the show to receive your free ticket.  

For  questions, please call The Lost Colony Box office at 252-473-6000.