'The Lost Colony' brings history to life

"The Lost Colony" is on stage at the Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island. This year marks the Tony Award-winning production's 82nd season.

“The Lost Colony,” a symphonic outdoor play that commemorates Sir Walter Raleigh’s doomed colony on Roanoke Island, is now in its 82nd year at the .

The Tony Award-winning symphonic play was penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, a native of North Carolina.

The production made its debut before a sold out crowd on the Fourth of July, and it was intended to be a one-summer run. However, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended a performance on Aug.18, 1937, its future was brighter than anyone could have imagined.

In 2013, “The Lost Colony” was awarded a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre by the American Theatre Wing. After eight decades, it’s still going strong.

Each summer, more than 100 actors, technicians, designers and volunteers spend countless hours and put their personal lives on hold to rehearse and prepare for another successful season of “The Lost Colony.”

A book, “Backstage at The Lost Colony” by author Dwayne Walls Jr., covers the finely-tuned production from rehearsals to closing night. Walls, an alumnus of “The Lost Colony,” gives readers a behind-the-scenes peek into what goes into putting on such a massive production, as well as a look at the men, women and children who have trod the boards with the cast, including beloved TV icon Andy Griffith. The book is available at independent bookstores, specialty stores and other locations throughout the Outer Banks and at coquinapress.com.

"The Lost Colony"production continues several traditions in 2019, including its “Dare Nights” performances for the residents of Dare County set for June 7, 14 and 21. Dare County residents are encouraged to attend the performance – while continuing to help the Outer Banks food pantries. Admission to the Dare Night performances is free for Dare County residents who attend and bring at least two can goods or two dry goods as a donation for the Outer Banks food pantries.

For tickets to all performances, visit thelostcolony.org.

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