Welcome to The Lost Colony

In July of 1587, 117 English men, women, and children came ashore on Roanoke Island with a commission from Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement in the New World. Just three years later in 1590, when English ships returned to bring supplies to the settlement, they found the island deserted with no sign of the colonists except the single word, “CROATOAN,” carved into the surface of an abandoned structure and the letters, “CRO,” scratched into the bark of a tree. After nearly 450 years, the mystery of what happened to the colonists remains unsolved.

The Lost Colony, Paul Green’s Symphonic Outdoor Drama, has been performed each summer since 1937 on the same site where these actual events occurred. Under the direction of Ira David Wood, III, a company of over 100 actors, dancers, singers, and technicians create a magical evening for your whole family.

Gather clues from the colonists as you are immersed in epic battles, haunting Native American dances, elegant costuming, and beautiful music in this enormous stage production. The Lost Colony brings our nation’s oldest mystery to life all around you. Experience a night surrounded by the mystery of The Lost Colony!


Can You Solve America’s
Oldest Mystery?

“Well Worth Our Time!”

An outstanding performance June 18th! After reading all the great reviews on that play, The Lost Colony,”on Tripadvisor, we had to go see the play ourselves! Everything we read was true! A quality production all around- actors and their performances,costumes, stage n scenery, sound system, and a beautiful setting for this marvelous play! Really added to understanding and appreciating the history of the area. A must do! Easy access to tickets on line!

Reviewed June 19, 2016 via TripAdvisor

“Great show!!!!”

“I saw this as a child and then again when I was in college. It was such a treat to bring back my boys ages 13, 10 and 6 to enjoy it. It was wonderful! My boys thoroughly enjoyed it. They were still talking about it the morning. We had a nice breeze so that kept the mosquitos at bay. I ordered my tickets on- line the day before and picked them upon arrival. A definite to-do if you are in Manteo.”

Reviewed June 18, 2016 via TripAdvisor

“The Lost Colony Play Roanoke Island, Best show for the cost”

I have always wanted to see this play but always came during off season. I was lucky this year since we were there the opening week. I quickly went on line a month before our trip and bought the VIP package. It included back stage tour , a great play brochure that contains great info on the colony, actors, production staff , and more. I was also able to get front row seat. Plus it included rain out protection, luckily it was a beautiful evening. The cast members did the back stage tours in costume and had even more details. I will try to add photos my hosts.
The theater is a marvel for an open stage. There are two covered concession areas that are covered for purchases and refreshments during intermission. As well as a meet the actors after the performance.

Reviewed June 16, 2016 via TripAdvisor

“Fascinating Production!”

Frequent visitors to the Outer Banks, we attended The Lost Colony for the first time on opening night. The production was top notch! Fascinating in story itself and technical execution. Sets and costumes were absolutely stunning. The theater is a beautiful venue that uses its environment to every possible advantage. Although outdoor acoustics can be an absolute nightmare, the sound was generally clear and easily heard but for a few dead spots which is the norm with wireless mics. It WAS opening night, so technical glitches were not unexpected. The actors were well cast and portrayed their roles enthusiastically, convincingly, and professionally. They were also extremely gracious to those attending and took time to speak with us after the show. I will note that the show is a full length production at night, and the some of the young children in the audience did become restless, so parents, please use discretion as to whether this is a good activity for your individual child. Because it is outdoors, some children are unable to understand why they can’t use their “outside voices.” Your fellow audience members thank you for your consideration. Do keep an eye out for ticket discounts for better affordability, and special events like backstage tours and character dinners for added fun!

Reviewed June 14, 2016 via TripAdvisor

Recent Blogs


Folk-rock Band Dawes Coming to the Historic Waterside Theatre Sunday, July 3, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

On the eve of Independence Day, Sunday, July 3rd, enjoy folk-rock band Dawes, co-sponsored by 99.1 The Sound as part of their 20th Anniversary celebration. Get ready to groove to Dawes’ harmonies and 1960’s-70’s Laurel Canyon folk-rock [...]

2016 Children’s Show: Stellaluna And Other Tales Begins June 14, 2016

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2016’s Live at the Waterside Concert Series Line Up Announced

The Lost Colony is proud to announce The 2016 Live at the Waterside Concert Series presented by PNC Bank. This summer, experience live music at one the 10 Best Outdoor Concert Venues you shouldn’t miss [...]

Comedy Tonight Fundraiser on Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Lost Colony presents it's third Comedy Tonight fundraiser on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the Sound Stage Theater on the grounds of The Lost Colony. Join the Roanoke Island Historical Association for an exciting night on [...]