Laura Anne Long was the epitome of why The Lost Colony is such a special place.
From 1984-2021, Laura was a member of the Lost Colony choir, although her family has been involved with the show since the 1940’s. Her most notable role in the show was the lampreys vendor in the Port of Plymouth scene. Right on cue, every night, Laura would burst onto the stage, trying to sell her lampreys to the denizens of Devon, England. She never failed to bring all of her energy onto the stage, and the dramatic climax of Act 1 was made all the more spectacular by Laura’s incredible high-A that she would sing into the heavens along with the music each night.
Laura’s enthusiasm and love for The Lost Colony was nothing short of infectious. She began each night walking down the path to the theatre singing, and more often than not she would be singing songs from the show. After quickly getting into costume, she would spend pre-shows knitting or bonding with her fellow Company Members. Laura loved regaling Company Members with stories of the show from years ago, and specifically loved talking about her mother Mary Long’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I. She recognized that each summer you spend with The Lost Colony is a summer of having a new family, even if only for a couple months. She would keep in touch with Company Members during the off-season, giving them a call to check up on them and to fill them in on what was going on in Manteo. For many, Laura was a constant in their lives, even if they had not been back to Manteo in years.
For almost four decades, Laura’s annual recital at Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church was a tradition in Manteo each summer. On the last Sunday in July, Laura would gather her friends and family (along with that summer’s The Lost Colony Company) to showcase her amazing singing voice and to provide amusing anecdotes in between songs, followed by a reception afterwards. More often than not, a song or two from The Lost Colony was included in her repertoire.
Laura’s passion for the show didn’t stop once the show closed in August each year. She was constantly checking in for updates on the upcoming season each winter, and was always ready to volunteer for any events held by The Lost Colony. For years Laura took it upon herself to distribute posters for The Lost Colony in Downtown Manteo, and was nothing short of an amazing steward and ambassador for the show.
Laura was an inspiration for us all. She was a vibrant member of the community in Manteo, and her incredible attitude and confidence impacted so many. The Lost Colony, Manteo, and the Outer Banks will not sing as beautifully without Laura, and she will be incredibly missed.