The Lost Colony is now into its 82nd year, making it by a considerable margin, the longest running outdoor drama in North America.
There’s a good reason for that.
The play has everything. Pageantry and wonderful costumes making it a feast for the eyes. But even more important, it’s a great story.
The play, The Lost Colony tells the story of the first attempt by the British to colonize the New World—the failed City of Raleigh on Roanoke Island.
To this day, no one knows what happened to the 117 colonists who journeyed to the north end of Roanoke Island. We are discovering, though, more and more historic fact, and one of the remarkable things about Paul Green’s 1936 script is that it is still relevant and fact-based.
The play makes it clear that incompetence of Governor Ralph Lane contributed to the failure of the colony. And history leaves little doubt that his violent confrontations with the Native American villages created hatred, mistrust and eventually warfare.
Taking place at a time when when the might of Spain sought to quash the upstart navy of Great Britain—an undertaking the failed when the English navy crushed the Spanish Armada in 1587.
The play brings all of this to life.
The fears of Queen Elizabeth I as the Spanish Armada sails for England, and her desperate plan to save her nation that forbids any ship to leave port. All British ships were to be part of the fleet that would assail the Spanish.
The pleas of Sir Walter Raleigh and Joh White, who returned to England to gather supplies, know what the fate will be without resupply, but their words fall on deaf ears.
At the City of Raleigh, it’s winter and with no help from the local Indian nation the colony is dying. Finally they make the choice leave, carving the word Croatoan into a tree.
The play is suitable for all ages. It is an outdoor performance at night. Bug spray is probably a good idea and it may be a good idea to have a light jacket or sweater handy. Waterside Theater is on Roanoke Sound and it can get a bit chilly at times.
Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates is a proud sponsor of the play.