The Lost Colony

1409 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64), Waterside Theatre, inside Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo
(252) 473-2127
(252) 473-6000

In July of 1587, 117 English men, women and children came ashore on Roanoke Island with the commission from Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement in the New World. They vanished just three years later. The only clues were “CROATOAN" carved into the surface of an abandoned structure and the letters "CRO" carved into a nearby tree. After nearly 450 years, the mystery of what happened to the colonists remains unsolved. The Lost Colony outdoor drama is their story.

Now in its 87th season, The Lost Colony, Paul Green's Symphonic Outdoor Drama, is performed on the site where these actual events occurred. Each summer, a company of more than 100 actors, technicians, dancers, designers and volunteers bring The Lost Colony to life. The production is enormous. The stage itself is three times larger than most Broadway stages in New York City. You are seated in an open-air theater, located on the Roanoke Sound, with the stars above and live action happening on three sides. 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, the first English child born in America. You'll enjoy music, laughter, romance, dance and stunning special effects.

The Lost Colony is the “grandfather” of all outdoor dramas and is produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA), a nonprofit organization with the mission to celebrate the history of the first English colonies on Roanoke Island and to honor the founders of The Lost Colony through drama, education and literature. Outer Banks locals and visitors have loved it for more than eight decades. Seeing the play is a quintessential Outer Banks activity. 

The 2024 season begins May 30 and runs through August 24. Shows are performed Monday through Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $25 to $40, are half-price for children ages 6 to 12 and free for kids 5 and younger every night. Senior, military, AAA, group discounts and VIP packages are available. For the best seats, advance reservations are recommended. For tickets call (252) 473-6000 or purchase online anytime. Backstage Tours are also available nightly at 7:30 p.m. with the purchase of an additional ticket.