The Lost Colony

“The Lost Colony”: A Timeless Outer Banks Tradition

Nestled on the shores of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, lies a cultural gem that has captivated audiences for over eight decades. “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama is not just a performance; it’s an institution, a living testament to America’s first English settlement and the enduring mystery of its disappearance.

Each summer, Waterside Theatre becomes the backdrop for a spectacular retelling of the story of 117 men, women, and children who vanished without a trace in 1587, leaving behind only the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree.

A Story That Bridges Time

“The Lost Colony” is the nation’s premier and longest-running outdoor symphonic drama, first performed in 1937. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, the play is a powerful blend of music, dance, and theater that brings to life the hopes, struggles, and ultimately, the mystery of these early settlers. The performance is a tribute to the human spirit and the quest for new beginnings, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Roanoke Sound.

An Experience for All Ages

Attending “The Lost Colony” is a tradition that spans generations. It’s an experience that mesmerizes children and adults alike, with lavish costumes, stunning sets, and a story that is both educational and entertaining. The drama unfolds under the stars, making for an unforgettable evening of theatre that connects audiences with the rich history of the Outer Banks.

More Than Just a Play

But “The Lost Colony” is more than just a performance; it’s a celebration of history, art, and community. The production is supported by a dedicated team of actors, technicians, and volunteers who bring this story to life each night. Beyond the drama, the Waterside Theatre offers backstage tours, giving visitors a glimpse into the magic that goes into creating this historic play. The site also hosts educational programs and special events throughout the year, making it a cornerstone of cultural life on Roanoke Island.

A Call to Adventure

For anyone visiting the Outer Banks, “The Lost Colony” offers a unique opportunity to engage with the area’s history in a deeply personal way. It’s a call to adventure, an invitation to step back in time, and a chance to ponder one of America’s oldest mysteries. Whether you’re a history buff, a theater lover, or simply in search of a memorable night out, “The Lost Colony” promises an experience that is both profound and enchanting.

Plan Your Visit

“The Lost Colony” runs every summer, with performances typically beginning in late May and continuing through August. Tickets are available for purchase online, and early booking is recommended to secure the best seats. With its breathtaking location, historical significance, and artistic excellence, “The Lost Colony” is a must-see for anyone visiting the Outer Banks. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this living history.


“The Lost Colony” outdoor drama is a jewel in the crown of the Outer Banks, a performance that has touched the hearts of millions over its long run. It stands as a powerful reminder of our shared past, the mysteries that bind us, and the art that transcends time. As the stars twinkle overhead and the night air carries the sounds of history, audiences are transported to another era, captivated by the enduring tale of “The Lost Colony.”