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