Happy Birthday Virginia Dare

On this day in 1587, the first English child was born on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. The birth of Virginia Dare brought hope to the ill-fated Colony that their brave dreams would outlast their struggle.

Each year on Virginia’s birthday, The Lost Colony production features newborn babies from our local community. Unfortunately the 83rd Season was cancelled, so our alumni have created this special tribute in her honor! We wish to celebrate this day and recognize all the performers who have played the role of Virginia Dare or her mother Eleanor. Ye are remembered!

Laura Long Virtual Recital

Laura Long’s Summer Recital

Join us on July 26th at 4:00 pm for a performance by Lost Colony treasure – Laura Long!

A 40-Year Retrospective of performances with new video for 2020

Voice & Musical Direction by Kathy Kreplin

Video production by David Miller & Aaron Jodoin
with contribution from many Lost Colony friends

Sponsored by Edward Greene & Richard Lacerre

This program is dedicated in loving memory of Laura’s parents  – Mary and Bill Long, Sr., and longtime friend and teacher – Katie Pfohl.

Available July 26 @ 4:00pm, video will play by clicking HERE.

A summer without a legendary outdoor drama

Waterside Theatre

Concerns over COVID-19 shuttered this year’s production of “The Lost Colony.” What does that mean for the iconic play, and the people who love it?

COVID-19 has had the power to do what previously was only possible by a world war – shut down “The Lost Colony.”

This legendary outdoor symphonic drama commemorates the arrival, and consequent disappearance, of America’s first English colony on Roanoke Island in 1587. It was created in 1937 by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, and with few exceptions, it has been running annually ever since.

“It has already left a hole in many people’s summers,” said Lance Culpepper, associate producer. “I’ve heard many comments such as, ‘I can’t imagine summer without it.’”

In April, the board of directors of the Roanoke Island Historical Association made the difficult decision to forego the 2020 season. While it is a devastating blow, Culpepper chooses to embrace the interruption as “a moment to breathe.”

“We have to consider what is most important for the organization in the long run,” said Culpepper, now in his 13th season with the production. So, the showrunners have decided to use this time to focus on how best to present the play when it returns in 2021.  READ MORE




RIHA’s response and commitment to our community

The Roanoke Island Historical Association condemns all acts of racism, discrimination and hatred in any manner. In the shadow of recent events, especially within our Black and Latino communities, we affirm that we are committed to working towards a more peaceful and just America. We are dedicated to listening and learning while caring for anyone who feels marginalized or discriminated against.

Here is a list RIHA’s commitments as we move forward:

  1. RIHA will work to identify all potential blind spots that we may have with regards to unintended discriminatory practices – I will establish an oversight committee to hold us accountable.
  2. I will host a Zoom Teleconference Meeting with all who wish to participate in order to continue to listen and process your perspectives on this important issue.
  3. RIHA will work to establish dialogue with Native Americans to ensure we are depicting their ancestors in an honorable and respectable way in The Lost Colony production.

Like any organization, RIHA has room to improve and we will. The Lost Colony is about the dream of freedom and equal rights for all; and RIHA supports that dream.

Kevin Bradley

RIHA, Board Chairman


Alumni Choir honors The Lost Colony

Alumni Choir Video

On behalf of the Roanoke Island Historical Association and our esteemed Alumni, I am pleased to share with you an amazing effort put forth by Lost Colony alumni Jimmie Lee Brooks and a team of artistic professionals from around the country.

During this difficult season when The Lost Colony was cancelled due to COVID 19, a team of passionate alumni rose up and produced a remarkable piece of art which symbolizes the hard work and dedication of those who have labored so hard to ensure the success of The Lost Colony over the past 83 years.

We hope you enjoy the magic of over 100 voices coming together to sing Final March. This is the powerful song performed by the colonists as they leave the fort to continue their struggle for survival.  If you close your eyes – you will hear the Historian utter these beautiful and haunting words:

“In the cold hours before dawn, they began their march …..into the vast unknown”.

Oh God that madest earth and sky, and hedged the seas around.
Who that vast firmament on high, with golden stars hath bound.
Oh God our Father Lord above, O bright immortal one….
Secure within thy mercy, we walk this death alone

So even now, centuries later, we offer some whisper of their name with some mention and devotion to the dream that brought them here.

The dream still lives…and shall not die.

Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. We hope you enjoy this beautiful gift from our Alumni.


Kevin Bradley
Board Chairman
Roanoke Island Historical Association

Donate here

The Lost Colony Sews and Donates over 100 Medical Masks to Outer Banks Hospital

The Lost Colony Sews and Donates over 100 Medical Masks to Outer Banks Hospital

The Lost Colony “re-purposed” its costume shop and sewed 112 COVID-19 masks for frontline workers at The Outer Banks Hospital. The masks were sewn with fabric and supplies from The Lost Colony costume shop and delivered to the Hospital on Tuesday, May 6th. “Personal Protection Equipment is very important for our first responders and this was a good way to contribute to the effort to defeat COVID-19 while protecting our valued and beloved medical personnel” said Roanoke Historical Association Chairman, Kevin Bradley.

Community heroes Barbara Holton and Joan Brumbach sewed the masks based on an approved pattern. Barbara has a long history with the production as she is a former seamstress from The Lost Colony costume shop. She has made over 600 masks for the community this year and is a leader with many other community projects. Joan works closely with costuming for Elizabeth R & Company and her work on this project was greatly appreciated. “We are deeply grateful to our treasured volunteers for helping keep our community heroes safe” remarked Katie Stone, acting General Manager for RIHA.

Earlier this spring it was announced that the 2020 season of Paul Green’s The Lost Colony would be cancelled due to the pandemic. However, The Roanoke Island Historical Association will continue to find ways to serve its community as we all work towards a full recovery.


The Lost Colony Cancels 83rd Season in Response to COVID-19 Virus Concerns

 The Roanoke Island Historical Association’s (RIHA) Board of Directors has cancelled its 83rd season of Paul Green’s The Lost Colony which is performed nightly each summer at Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island. This is the first cancelled season since World War II in 1944 and comes as a result of the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus.  RIHA did not want to risk the safety of its ticket buyers, cast, crew, staff and volunteers.  The RIHA Board of Directors stayed in close contact with county and state officials and determined this was the best course of action for everyone involved.

“Several times throughout our storied history, the community has rallied around The Lost Colony.  Whether it was to help repair storm damage as a result of hurricanes or devastation caused by fire – every time the local community has stepped up and helped the Colony recover.  We feel this is the appropriate time for The Lost Colony to take a step back and to return the favor and rally around the community that has done so much for us”, said RIHA Board Chair Kevin Bradley.  “These are difficult times and that creates an environment where difficult decisions are required.  And this certainly was a difficult decision for our Board of Directors to make – but I believe the correct one in light of what our community is facing”.

The Lost Colony outdoor drama is the “grandfather” of all outdoor dramas and is produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association, 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.

All tickets purchased for this season’s performances will be eligible for a full refund or can be applied to 2021 performances when the show re-opens to the public.

Contact The Lost Colony office at 252-473-2127 or visit our website at www.thelostcolony.org.



 Q: What factors were considered in making the decision to cancel the 2020 production of The Lost Colony?

A: We monitored every local, state and federal agency for 45 days. We also spoke to past Board Chairs, former Board members, alumni, staff, and local businesses.  We monitored other outdoor theaters as well.  We have also been monitoring regional economies and saw that from the states where our sales come from – over 80% were under Shelter-In-Place or Stay At Home orders. This is not only a local decision, but one that considered the economic impact on our regional ticket buyers. There was overwhelming data and feedback pointing us in this direction.


Q: Why not delay the opening of the season so that at least a partial season could be produced?

 A: Because there was no definitive indication that social restrictions will be lifted before June 1, the earliest we would be able to get the show up was 25-27 days after we received the go-ahead to do so.  This would put us into late June or early July in terms of an opening and the economics begin to fall apart at this point. Reports are also circulating about colleges and universities adjusting start times, and since a large percentage of our cast is comprised of college students, we could be faced with a loss of our cast earlier than usual. We studied various timelines and scenarios and once we passed through certain tollgates relative to dates, it became more and more clear that a delayed opening was not going to be possible.


Q: Will The Lost Colony be able to survive a season without the production and resulting revenue?

A: This is an important question. The answer is yes but we will need to make major adjustments in order to survive. Like all businesses, we will need to make difficult decisions, but we have a plan that will allow us to be ready for the 2021 season.


Q: What happens for ticket buyers who purchased tickets for the 2020 production?

A: There will be two paths forward for ticket buyers.  They can either get a full refund for tickets purchased for 2020 or we will honor their tickets for the 2021 season.  More details will follow soon, but these are the two paths moving forward.


Q: Will the Roanoke Island Historical Association do any kind of production this summer if things clear out by July 1 or later?

A: It is possible that we will offer some kind of stage production for our local community. We are looking at several options and will communicate as we make decisions. We believe art feeds the soul and if we can help heal the community with a production, we will do our best to accommodate.


Q: What about The Lost Colony Culinary and Wine Festival scheduled for late September.

A: We feel we have more time to monitor the situation and make a decision later this summer. Our plans are to move forward unless we see data later this summer that would make the event unworkable.


Q: Are there plans to move forward with The Lost Colony in 2021?

A: Absolutely! We will leverage this down time to become stronger and better resourced as we move forward.  Our goal will be to have the finest show ever staged at Waterside Theatre when the season opens next May.