More than 400 years ago, 117 men, women and children sailed from Plymouth, England, in an attempt to settle on Roanoke Island. They vanished just three years later. The only clue left behind was the word “CROATOAN” carved in a tree. The Lost Colony outdoor drama is their story. This is the longest-standing Outer Banks attraction, celebrating its 82nd season in 2019!
Written by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony is performed summer nights by a company of more than 100 actors, dancers, singers and technicians in the historic outdoor Waterside Theater. Come see epic battles and Indian dances, experience the sorrow and heartbreak of tragedy and loss, witness the pageantry of the queen and her court, and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare. There is music, laughter, romance and dance, and Outer Banks locals and visitors have loved it for 79 years. Seeing the play is a quintessential Outer Banks activity. An Outer Banks tradition and cultural treasure, The Lost Colony educates, enriches and entertains – don’t leave the Outer Banks until you see it.
The 2019 season runs from May 31 through August 23, Monday through Saturday nights. Ticket prices range from $20 to $35, depending on seating. Tickets are half-price for children ages 12 and younger and free for kids 5 and younger every night. On Monday nights, all children age 12 and younger get in free! Senior, military, AAA, group discounts and VIP packages are available. Advance reservations are recommended. For tickets call (252) 473-6000 or purchase online anytime.
Backstage tours are offered at 6:30 p.m. and cost $12 (free for children ages 5 and younger). The theater opens at 7:15 p.m. for seating. The house breezeways, with restrooms, a gift shop and concession (including wine and beer) stands, open at 6 p.m. The show starts promptly at 7:45 p.m. and lasts 2 hours, with a 15-minute intermission. The play ends at approximately 10 p.m.
On Thursday evenings before the show, The Lost Colony hosts a Royal Tea. Enjoy tea and sweets and take pictures with Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth. Tickets cost $12 ($5 for ages 3 to 5 and free for children 2 and younger) and seating is limited so be sure to reserve this experience in advance. You don't have to attend The Lost Colony to experience tea with the queen.
Members of The Lost Colony cast and crew stage a fun children's show in the SoundStage Theatre every summer. In 2019 the show will run Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m and Wednesdays at 2 p.m. (June 25 to August 21). The play is Wanda's Monster, a musical about an imaginative little girl and the purple hairy monster who lives in her closet. Tickets cost $10, and children ages 2 and younger get in free.
Throughout the year, other events are presented at Waterside Theatre, including The Lost Colony Wine Festival. The third annual Lost Colony Wine Festival Grand Tasting will be held backstage on September 28, 2019. There's also Ghosts of The Lost Colony, introducing guests to a few spirits of Roanoke Island's past residents while exploring the mysteries of the historic park. It's held around Easter (April 15 to 27 in 2019).
A trip to The Lost Colony also offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy Roanoke Island's restaurants, which are less crowded than the beach restaurants on summer nights.