Final March Slide

Final March from the 2013 production

The Lost Colony is a living legacy.  No other outdoor theatre portrays history in a more vibrant and memorable production.

Against the breathtaking backdrop of the Roanoke Sound, The Lost Colony experience is one of captivating costumes, dramatic staging, live music and pure family entertainment.  History unfolds as the story of the unsolved mystery of America’s beginnings on an island called Roanoke is told at the Waterside Theatre.

Ticket sales cover less than 50% of the cost of the production.  Your support is vital to the production of The Lost Colony and the many other programs produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA).

Your Membership and Contributions keep the dream of our founders alive!

  • Sustain the production of The Lost Colony at the historic Waterside Theatre by bringing generations of visitors to North Carolina’s Outer Banks and contributing to its economic vitality
  • Make possible theatre and arts programs such as the youth theatre camps, the children’s summer theatre shows and backstage tours
  • Bring educational programs to our schools with the annual school matinee performance of The Lost Colony and other enrichment activities
  • Ensure that the history of American’s first English Colony is celebrated for generations to come
  • Support educational events such as the annual Virginia Dare Faire, engaging children in Elizabethan history
  • Enable aspiring actors and artists pursuing their dreams, the opportunity for one of a kind training and experiences- over 120 each season, more than 5,000 since 1937
  • Provide opportunities for underserved and special needs populations to enjoy the theatre and arts-sign language interpreters, youth camp scholarships, customized programs
  • Support community programs such as Dare Nights when residents can attend the performance free with donations of canned goods to benefit local food banks
  • Help preserve a rich history of the area and The Lost Colony through RIHA’s archives 

Join Us Now… Become a Member


  • Recognition in the souvenir program & on our website
  • Exclusive Member Sticker
  • Invitation to The Lost Colony’s opening night party & performance
  • Priority Access to the best seats in the house
  • Annual Membership in RIHA with voting privileges
  • $5 Discount on adult The Lost Colony tickets
  • $2 Discount on Children’s Summer Theatre Show tickets
  • Pre-sale Notice & Priority Preferred Booking to Youth Theatre Art Camps & $10 member discount
  • Pre-sale Notice & Priority Preferred Booking to concerts, programs and events


  •  All of the Above Benefits, plus
  • One complimentary Souvenir Program per membership


  • All of the Above Benefits, plus
  • Complimentary upgrade to a VIP Ticket with backstage tour, rain insurance and program when you purchase a regularly priced ticket.


  • All of the Above Benefits, plus
  • Special Thank You  “Care Package” waiting for you at the Ticket Office with each show you attend
  • Option to honor or memorialize someone with a lovely seasonal flower pot or plant to enhance the theatre house


  • All of the Above Benefits, plus
  • Option of Seat Endowment, or
  • Sponsorship of a character role, or a special friend or family member in the Souvenir Program

__________________________________________________________________________ Call Nancy Figiel at 252-473-2127 or email her at  for more information!  To donate now, click on the link above, or download the form directly below if you prefer to mail a check.  Please note that Annual Memberships run January 1st through December 31st. Download the membership brochure (pdf)

Queens Chamber from the 2013 production

Queens Chamber from the 2013 production

In 1937, The Lost Colony was the economic engine that drove thousands to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  In that year, President Roosevelt visited The Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island, and the nation discovered these beautiful barrier islands.  Embraced by its community, The Lost Colony has become a world renowned theatrical production and is now a recipient of the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre!  Today it continues to offer a unique Outer Banks experience to all its patrons, and draws visitors from around the world.

With your Corporate Sponsorship, the rewards are many.   Corporate Sponsorship supports The Lost Colony legacy of a community who envisioned grandly and produced a historical drama that celebrated the first English Colony on Roanoke Island in 1587.  Your sponsorship also supports our region and state’s cultural heritage in the theatre and arts, the education of American history, and tourism to the Outer Banks.  The Lost Colony interprets our history through drama, and offers every patron a memorable experience – over 3 million since its debut!

 The Lost Colony Corporate Sponsorship Package promotes Enhanced Community Relations and Corporate Visibility.  Your Sponsorship supports:

  • Our Outer Banks Culture and History
  • Programs in the Theatre and Arts that add dimension to Our Community
  • Theatre Activities and Programs for Local and Visiting Children
  • Education of North Carolina and American History
  • The Nation’s Longest Running Symphonic Drama
  • Cultivation of young artists seeking careers in the arts
  • Wholesome, educational and historical family entertainment – unique to the Outer Banks!
  • A tradition that generations of families enjoy

Package Benefits include:

  • Recognition in The Lost Colony Souvenir Program and at The Waterside Theatre
  • Inclusion in The Lost Colony Advertising and Promotional campaign
  • Opportunity to Own a Night or Event at The Waterside Theatre
  • Complimentary tickets to the Performance and other Programs
  • Invitation to the Opening Night Pre-Show Reception and Performance
  • Enhanced Benefits for Your Employees
  • Opportunities to showcase your logo, products and services to broader audiences

 We are grateful for the generous support from our 2014 Corporate Sponsors.

Your corporate sponsorship package can be customized to meet your needs!  Call Nancy Figiel at 252 473-2127, or email her at .  Your support will help sustain The Lost Colony for generations to come.  Become a “Keeper of the Dream” today! 
sponsors 2The Lost Colony is essential to North Carolina’s quality of life. In challenging times, the arts provide opportunities for individuals, families and communities to come together, to share in an experience, and to discuss issues thoughtfully. The Lost Colony in particular offers world-class theater, a spectacular gathering place, and a wellspring of vitality on the Outer Banks. Contributions from businesses of all sizes help The Lost Colony to serve the state. Your support makes it possible for students from across the region to see exceptional live theater. You enable patrons with disabilities to enjoy the show in comfort. You sustain a vibrant tourist destination and community gathering place. We are grateful for the generous support of the companies listed here during the 2014 season.

We also thank the following foundations for their generous support: NCCFNC Arts Councilhome_logo

Waterside Theatre Seat Endowments

Seats are still available for endowment

Gifting a Seat at The Waterside Theatre  

Gifting a Seat in the historic Waterside Theatre is a thoughtful and distinctive way to honor or memorialize someone special, a loved one, family members, a business or yourself.   It’s the perfect gift to commemorate a special occasion.   Your gift of a seat will ensure that the legacy of The Lost Colony lives on for decades to come while also creating an enduring remembrance.  With a tax deductible gift of $1,000 or more, an engraved plaque with a personalized inscription will be affixed to the seat of your choice.  To learn more about Gifting a Seat at The Waterside Theatre, call Nancy Figiel at 252-473-2127, or email at nfigiel@thelostcolony.

The Bob Knowles Award is given each year to a company member for “outstanding artistic integrity and professional discipline” in that season’s production.  The award encourages and supports individuals committed to excellence in the performing arts.  A few of the outstanding company members who have received the award include:

  • David Miller
  • John Underwood
  • Robert Midgette
  • Jimmy Lee Brooks III
  • Christopher Kiley
  • Townsend Pass
  • Justin Heavner

Call Nancy Figiel at 252-473-2127 or email her at  for more information or to make a donation to the Bob Knowles Fund. About Bob Knowles

Bob Knowles

Bob Knowles

During his 43 years in the theater, he directed more than 200 different shows and held every office in the Southeastern Theatre Conference, including president.  Born in Fort Pierce, where he decided at age 15 to become an actor, Mr. Knowles began his career with the Army, touring with the Army show, The Hellcat Review, as its technical director from 1943 to 1946. He often escorted famous entertainers including Marlene Dietrich, Jack Benny and Zero Mostel.  After his Army service, he earned his bachelor of arts degree in drama at Stetson University and his master of arts degree in theater production at the University of Florida. While at Stetson, he appeared in 25 productions as an actor plus worked as technical director for many shows. He also appeared in summer stock productions.  For two summers he worked with the Monticello Summer Theatre at Kiamesha Lake in New York. In 1950-51, he was an instructor of communications at UF and was director of the Gainesville Little Theatre.  He moved to Auburn University in 1951 as an associate professor and acting chair of the drama department, where during the next 16 years he directed more than 60 productions.  He was named director of the Little Theatre of Jacksonville in August 1967.   While in Jacksonville, Mr. Knowles spent 12 summers as production coordinator of The Lost Colony. In 1980, he become the full-time general manager and producer of The Lost Colony where he remained until he retired in 1993.  Mr. Knowles passed away in 2010.

The Lost Colony When you include The Lost Colony in your will or other instrument of planned giving, your kindness will continue to live beyond your finite existence.  Legacy gifts take many forms including:

  • Bequests
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Charitable lead trusts
  • Retained life estate
  • Retirement plan assets
  • Life insurance
  • Charitable gift annuities

Many of these methods of giving provide you and your heirs the benefit of lower income and estate taxes.  Please talk to your attorney to see what will work best for you. Schedule an appointment to chat with us about including The Lost Colony in your legacy planning.  Call Bill Coleman at 252-473-2127 or email at

The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it. ~ William James

Kubota Tractor

Kubota Tractor donated in 2007

In Kind Donations are an invaluable part of the giving that makes The Lost Colony go year after year.  From archival items to automobiles, giving items is not only a great way to support us, but could help you clear out your basement or garage and provide you a nice tax write off too!  We’ll keep this list updated as needs arise, but if you have something not on the list that you think we can use…give us a call!

Wish List:

  • Tools in good working condition.  We ALWAYS need tools!
  • Old Lost Colony memorabilia
  • Local hotel room vouchers and rental cottages for visiting artists and guests

Volunteers donate thousands of hours per year  including at the annual ice cream social

Volunteers donate thousands of hours per year including at the annual ice cream social

Volunteers are the life blood of The Lost Colony.  Like all non-profit theatres, we depend on the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who give thousands of hours each year.  Our volunteers do all kinds of tasks with the goal of presenting the most memorable production of The Lost Colony ever.  The first board of directors volunteered in 1936 to found the Roanoke Island Historical Association. Their dedication and service lives on today through the residents of Dare County and surrounding areas who help in the following areas:

  • Costume Shop
  • Production
  • Actors
  • Ushers
  • Hospitality
  • Office Work
  • Board of Directors
  • Archives
  • PsychoPath Crew

Your talents are as valuable to us as cash donations and we’d very much appreciate hearing from you about what we could accomplish together.  Call us at 252-473-2127 to schedule a time to meet with us!

If you cannot attend the performance due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, you may change your performance date to a future date that season, or choose to donate your tickets to the Roanoke Island Historical Association, producer of The Lost Colony. This request can be made up to 5 minutes prior to the performance’s curtain by the ticket buyer. RIHA will send the ticket buyer a receipt for the tax-deductible portion of the ticket purchase. If you are issued a rain check ticket due to the cancellation of a performance, and you are not able to attend the show on another night during the season, you may choose to donate the tax deductible portion of your ticket to RIHA.

Public Disclosure Quicklinks

In 2012 we moved from accounting in a fiscal year to a calendar year.   This created a short two month period called a “stub year”.  For specific questions about this change in accounting calendars or to request a copy of our full audit, call Bill Coleman at 252-473-2127. Download our 2012 RIHA Audited 990 Download our 2013 RIHA Audited 990 (Stub Year) Download our 2013 Annual Report

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