History of the Lost Colony Outdoor Drama

Dated: April 12 2024

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The Lost Colony history experience, America’s longest running outdoor symphonic drama, embarks on its 82nd season of production in 2019. This production, based on historical fact, tells the story about this land, this island, being the site of the first English settlement in the New World and the birthplace of the first English child-Virginia Dare.

It took a community and the nation to open The Lost Colony in 1937 for the 350th anniversary of Virginia Dare’s birth.  President Roosevelt’s WPA program facilitated in building the theatre and WPA actors performed in the production. Roosevelt attended that year.  Since, more than 4 million patrons from around the world have attended. For many, especially within the Outer Banks community, attending or participating in the performance remains a family tradition.

In live theatre, the audience plays a major role in bringing the story to life.  Paul Green, its playwright, called this theory the “Peoples Theater” – the play was written to relate to and affect its audience.  Green’s ideologies of equality among mankind is also reflected in the play.  On Roanoke Island the elite aristocrats no longer matter, the colony who land, live and survive, or perish, “the common man,” become the collective heroes.

The Lost Colony is housed on the grounds of the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Since the formal establishment of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on April 5, 1941 the National Park Service (NPS) and the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) have been partners. Tied together by the mystery surrounding the Lost Colony, both entities have spent the last eight decades entertaining and educating residents and tourists alike.  Together with your continued support and encouragement, we will continue to educate the public and preserve the historical significance of The Lost Colony.

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Alex Argiroff

With a degree in Marine Biology Alex has always been drawn to the ocean and so it was no surprise when he moved to the Outer Banks with his wife and 3 children in 1989 from Stone Harbor, NJ. Having ow....

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