Sneak Preview of the 2021 Season With Jeff Whiting

Register for this event!

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!


Open Auditions For The 2021 Season

The Lost Colony  Auditions Announced
Become A Cast Member of the 84th Season of The Lost Colony

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  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 Introduces New Associate Choreographer

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.

Tribute to Lynn Lockrow

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.

Gail F. Hutchison

Remembering Marc Basnight

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. Marc Basnight Remembered

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.”

Current Covid-19 NC Restrictions

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!



Don Bridge Tribute

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.’

RIHA Welcomes New General Manager

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.
J C Ancona
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”.

New Director/Choreographer Jeff Whiting is Announced

The Lost Colony Introduces New Director / Choreographer
Broadway & New York Times Acclaimed Director Jeff Whiting joins for the 84th Season

The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) is proud to announce that Jeff Whiting will join their production team as the Director / Choreographer for the 84th season of The Lost Colony. A new era of leadership has commenced, bringing with it many exciting changes for RIHA and The Lost Colony.

RIHA Chairman Kevin Bradley states, “We are very excited about bringing in Jeff to direct The Lost Colony. We have had many great directors over the years and Jeff is extremely qualified to help launch the production to new levels of excellence. Jeff Whiting is a huge talent and we are fortunate to have him lead the artistic team.”

Whiting, who was recently acclaimed by the New York Times as a “director with a joyous touch” and praised on The View as “a truly remarkable talent”, is known for his success around the world as a director and choreographer for theatre, opera, television, special events and concerts. Jeff’s many credits include Associate Director on Broadway’s Bullets Over Broadway (6 Tony Nominations), Big Fish, The Scottsboro Boys (12 Tony Nominations), Hair (Tony Best Revival) and Wicked’s 5th Anniversary, as well as National Tour credits including Hairspray, Young Frankenstein, Rockin’ Road to Dublin, Christmas in Killarney and The Producers.

“I’m truly honored to be a part of the re-imagination of The Lost Colony and to have the chance to tell the story of one of the most fascinating mysteries in American history…it is my goal to honor the important historical significance of what occurred here on the shores of Roanoke Island, and to honor the legacy of this important theatrical work and what it means to us today. As the wind rolls off of Roanoke Sound, it whispers the tale and I believe it’s my job, as the Director, to listen to that breeze and bring to life what happened here so many years ago, changing the course of history”, states Whiting.

Whiting has also focused on his philanthropic work off the stage by opening The Open Jar Institute, which is a music theatre training program for the development of music theatre artists of all ages, as well as creating the Open Jar Studios, home to the largest rehearsal studio in New York City. Jeff is also the founder of The Broadway Relief Project, who employed over 400 individuals during the shutdown to make PPE for NYC public hospitals, in response to COVID-19. Lastly, the very skilled director designed and developed the world’s first digital method for documenting and staging choreography, known as the Stage Write Software, which is used in over 80 Broadway shows and tours.

After the 83rd season was cancelled due to COVID, the upcoming 84th season is an important time to comeback strong in the community. The Lost Colony staff and RIHA Board of Directors are extremely pleased and enthusiastic to introduce Jeff Whiting as their new Director / Choreographer.


Congratulations To The Lumbee Tribe!

Office of the Tribal Chairman
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
Committee Approves Lumbee Recognition Bill; Legislation Headed to House Floor

Congrats Lumbee TribeWashington — Today the House Committee on Natural Resources approved a bill introduced by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) to provide federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

The bi-partisan bill, called the “Lumbee Recognition Act” (H.R.1964) is co-sponsored by the Tribe’s congressman, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) as well as Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC), David Price (D-NC), Alma Adams (D-NC), Don Young (R-AK), and Bill Timmons (R-SC).

“I am pleased the Committee took this action and so grateful for the strong support and commitment of Mr. Butterfield and all the bill sponsors,” said tribal chairman Harvey Godwin.

The Tribe was recognized by the State of North Carolina in 1885 and has sought federal recognition since 1888.

“Our people are rooted in our deep faith, our love of the land, proper education, and maintaining our tribal ways.  This legislation is necessary to fix what Congress did in the 1950s and clarify that we do have a special relationship with the United States,” Godwin said.

If the bill is enacted, the Tribe and its nearly 60,000 members would be eligible for services provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies.  Already a presence in rural southeastern North Carolina, federal recognition would equip the Tribe to strengthen the regional economy for the benefit of all North Carolinians.

Today’s action is widely seen as the next step in remedying an injustice that has plagued the Lumbee people for generations.

“The Lumbee Tribe has waited years for the federal recognition they deserve and this is a monumental step in that direction,” said Rep. Bishop. “This legislation has been a top priority of mine during my first year in Congress, and I thank my colleagues Chairman Grijalva, Ranking Member Rob Bishop, Rep. Butterfield and Rep. Hudson for their support of the Lumbee. I urge my colleagues to bring this measure to the House of Representatives floor and pass this critical legislation that will change the course of Lumbee history for generations to come,” said Rep. Dan Bishop.

“I am thrilled by today’s vote in the House Committee on Natural Resources to advance my bill, H.R. 1964, to extend full federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina,” said Rep. Butterfield.  “For far too long the Lumbee have been denied the services and economic development opportunities they deserve and, most importantly, the recognition by the federal government of being a sovereign people, something the State of North Carolina has recognized since 1885.  Today’s vote is a critical step in rectifying this historical wrong.  I thank my colleagues on the Committee for their votes to pass my bill and look forward to it moving to the floor for passage out of the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield.

Contact: Danielle McLean,
For Immediate Release: September 30, 2020



The Lost Colony Featured Cast

The 82nd Season of The Lost Colony has featured some incredible cast & crew. With two weeks remaining in the season, we hope you will join us to experience the magic and excitement of the nation’s longest running outdoor drama!

David Hopkins

The Lost Colony 2019
David plays the role of Simon Fernando

David is originally from Roanoke, VA and is working towards his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emory and Henry College. David began the season in the choir and will finish out The 2019 The Lost Colony Season as Simon Fernando!



Joey Casella

Joey Casella

A local of Kill Devil Hills, Joey is excited to be returning home to The Lost Colony for his fourth summer as Chief Manteo. Joey holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from James Madison University.


Emily Frankum

The Lost Colony 82nd Season | Queen
Emily Frankum

Her second year with The Lost Colony, Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Emily joins us from Goldsboro, NC. She began the 2019 as a technician and will finish the season as the Queen Elizabeth I.


Buy Tickets


2019 The Lost Colony Cast

The Lost Colony is grateful to have so many new and returning cast members for our 82nd Season! Here’s a look into the background of a few members of our talented crew:

Caleb Pless

Caleb excited to be joining us this season from Nashville, TN! He received his BFA in Musical Theatre from Western Kentucky University. Some of his professional credits include: Mary Poppins(Bert), Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere), Camelot (Sir Lionel), Kiss Me, Kate (Bill) and All Shook Up (Dean Hyde). He has been a featured dancer at the Stephen Foster Story in Bardstown, KY for the past five years and has toured with the National Theatre for Children in Chicago and Musical Mysteries and More in Pittsburgh for two seasons as an actor and the choreographer.Caleb is proud to be in the Equity Membership Candidate Program. You can look forward to his performance as Old Tom this season!


Derrick Bass

Derrick is a rising junior studying Musical Theatre at Western Carolina University and is excited to be joining us for the first time working at The Lost Colony as Sir Walter Raleigh! He is most excited about wearing fancy costumes and growing out his beard. His past credits include Cliff Bradshaw in Cabaret, Edward Bloomin in Big Fish, and Ren McCormack in Footloose. He wants to thank everyone for supporting live theatre and hopes that you enjoy the show!

Pam Atha

Pam is returning her for fifth season with The Lost Colony! This is her fourth season as choreographer and her third season in the role of Dame Coleman. She served many years with Unto These Hills across the state in Cherokee, NC as the choreographer and performer. Pam resides in Nashville, TN, where she is a theatre professional as choreographer, teacher, and performer. She is a proud teaching artist for Tennessee Performing Arts Center education programs. As a founding member of Tennessee Dance Theatre, she was as soloist and rehearsal captain for 13 years. Pam has received local awards for choreography and was honored in 2011 for her achievements and contributions to Nashville theatre by Jeff Ellis of and First Night Awards. Other company credits include: Flat Rock Playhouse, Nashville Rep, Carolina Regional Theatre, Nashville Children’s Theatre, New Harmony Theatre, Royal Palm Dinner Theatre, Gainesville Theatre Alliance, and Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre.

Catch our cast members live in performance at one of our nightly showings of The Lost Colony. This year’s 82nd anniversary season plays through August 23, 2019. The #1 OBX Attraction runs nightly accept Sundays and curtain time is 7:45 PM.

Buy Tickets


The 82nd Season of The Lost Colony Opens Friday, May 31st

Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) is proud to announce the 82nd Season of The Lost Colony opens to the public May 31st, 2019. The 2019 season, presented by PNC, is under the direction of Ira David Wood, III who is returning for his seventh season as Director. The 2019 cast and crew will perform a special Preview Night performance on Thursday, May 30th. Tickets for Preview Night, and all other performances, are available now at

Returning members of the 82nd Company include: Tony award winning Production Designer William Ivey Long, Robert Midgette as Fight Director, Joshua Allen as Lighting Designer, McCrae Hardy as Music Director and Pam Atha as Choreographer.

The Lost Colony continues several traditions in 2019 including its “Dare Nights” performances for the residents of Dare County on June 7, 14, and 21st. Dare County residents are encouraged to attend the performance – while continuing to help the Outer Banks food pantries. Admission to the Dare Night performances is free for Dare County residents who attend and bring at least two can goods or two dry goods as a donation for the Outer Banks food pantries.

For 2019, other RIHA productions include: children’s show, Wanda’s Monster, as well as Royal Tea – a meet-and-greet with the Queen herself.

Buy Tickets

Best Places to Catch a Sunset on the Outer Banks

OBX Things To Do

One of the most memorable parts of your Outer Banks vacation will be catching the spectacular sunsets each evening! The hardest decision you’ll have to make is the best place to go to watch the sun go down each night. Here are a few of our

              Catch an OBX Sunset

Jockey’s Ridge State Park
This park in Nags Head is one of the most well known spots to head to for sunset in the Outer Banks, and is well worth the climb up the stunning sand dunes!

Duck Town Park Boardwalk
Spend a leisurely evening in Duck and take a walk along the sound side boardwalk as you watch the sunset and wander through the many shops by water.

Bay Drive in Kill Devil Hills
This iconic Outer Banks street is one of the absolute best places to see the sun go down. There is no parking for cars so plan for an evening stroll or bike ride along the scenic Bay Drive to the gazebo on the sound.

Feeling hungry? You can also choose one of many sound side restaurants throughout the Outer Banks and watch the sunset as you dine!

Have your purchased your tickets yet for the 82nd Season of The Lost Colony?

Buy Tickets