Experience The Lost Colony On Roanoke Island #OBXnow #TLC80years #travel ad

Experience The Lost Colony On Roanoke Island #OBXnow

Recently, Jay and I visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I was fortunate enough to visit last year, but this was his very first visit. Last year, I got to experience many of the awesome things that this gorgeous chain of islands has to offer, but the outdoor symphonic drama, The Lost Colony, was out of season. So, of all the things that we got to do on our most recent visit, I have to admit I was most excited about the opportunity to see The Lost Colony, on Roanoke Island.

A Short History Of Roanoke Island

For those of you who may not know what the lost colony is as it relates to history, I will give you a few pieces of information. But definitely research and learn more as this is a very important part of US History and is one of the most debated and unresolved American incidents to date.

In the time of English settlements in what would later become the United States of America, the first colony to be settled was on Roanoke Island. As I am sure you are aware, life was not easy. There were conflicts between the English settlers and the native Americans. Many of the settlers were also starving due to their inexperience raising crops in this new land, disease and other factors. So, the English sent supplies to the settlers only to find no one left in the colony. There were clues left that led them to believe that the settlers left to find a better environment in Croatoan, but no one really knows for sure. 60 settlers just disappeared to never be be heard from again. Thus, they became known as the lost colony.

Experience The Lost Colony On Roanoke Island

The Lost Colony is awesome and I am not about some spoilers, so instead of telling you all about the outdoor drama and essentially ruining your experience, and then getting the smack in the comment section and ruining my experience, too, I am just going to share with you guys some fun facts about the play. I got you. ;)

We were lucky enough that we got to take a backstage tour of The Lost Colony before viewing the actual play. Two of the actors [Emily Asbury and Claire Jones] led us around, shared lots of great information about both the history of the area as well as the history of the production, and answered all of our questions. One of the things that I found interesting is that the Indians in the play are all spray tanned before each show to look more authentic. I asked if it was washable and learned that the cast showers after the performance and are able to remove the “tan.” Also, some of the characters play settlers as well as Indians, so they are getting sprayed during the play!

Experience The Lost Colony On Roanoke Island #OBXnow

One thing that I love is that if you look across the Roanoke Sound from the backstage area behind the set, you can actually see the Wright Brothers Memorial. I mean, it’s small and the untrained eye will have no idea what it is, but I thought it was very cool when pointed out. So, even though Jay has not been to the actual memorial, he can technically say that he has seen it. ;)

There have been many notable actors to grace the stage at The Waterside Theater, the home of The Lost Colony. You guys know that Jay and I live in Mount Airy, NC. What you may not know is that Mount Airy is the basis for The Andy Griffith show. Andy Griffith actually grew up in Mount Airy [aka Mayberry] and traveled often to nearby Pilot Mountain [aka Mount Pilot]. He later moved to Manteo and is one of the many notable actors to have graced the stage at The Waterside Theater.

In it’s 80th year, The Lost Colony is the longest running outdoor symphonic drama in the United States. Created by Paul Green, it commemorates the 350th birthday of Virginia Dare, the first baby born to English settlers in America. The Lost Colony is the recipient of the 2013 Tony Honor For Excellence in Theatre and has been seen by millions of people to date. You can see it, too, at The Waterside Theater at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island.

And don’t forget to get your National Parks Passport Book stamped at the ticket booth while you are there. You might want to ask about the stamp because I didn’t see it out anywhere, so I asked and was able to get my husband’s book stamped [I got mine stamped last year]. ;)

Check out the rest of our pictures from The Lost Colony on Flickr!

Experience The Lost Colony On Roanoke Island #OBXnow

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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for EatPlayRock.com, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. robin rue says:

    My husband is OBSESSED with this story. I think he would LOVE to visit this area and learn a little more about it.

  2. It sounds like a really interesting play to watch, I have to admit the story of Roanoke always interests me, I wonder what really happen to them all.

  3. We love Duck in the Outer Banks. My family has gone since I was a kid. It is so beautiful there. I would love to visit the Lost Colony Roanoke our next trip!

  4. The play sounds awesome! I’ve always been interested in the history, and anything that runs for that long must be good!

  5. Sounds like an interesting place. Those dresses look insane and hot! I’ve never been to an outdoor play, maybe one day I’l be able to go.

  6. This sound like such an experience… awesome costumes and outdoor drama? I’d love to check it out.

  7. Roanoke island has so much history and that outdoor play looks like a lot of fun to watch. I must get down there and see it for myself.

  8. This sounds like so much fun! I would love to see a play about the lost colony of Roanoke. I love all kinds of history.

  9. This looks like a wonderful experience! It’s amazing that this is the 80th year! I would love to see a show.

  10. Kansas Bonanno says:

    I’m an NC girl myself and i’ve honestly never been to see the drama. I’d love to take my kids when they get older because I think it would be a great way to teach them more about our history.

  11. I have always been fascinated by the lost colony of Roanoke. I think seeing this play would be a really cool experience. How neat that it is in its 80th year.

  12. This is a really fun and entertaining way to learn about the lost colony in Roanoke Island. You get to appreciate their story and be entertained in the process.

  13. I have never been to North Carolina, and honestly I didn’t know that there were little islands out there! The play looks like an amazing one- going on the list!

  14. Debra Hawkins says:

    This sounds like it is amazing! I used to be obsessed with the history of Roanoke! It is so fascinating!

  15. This reminds me of the history of the Thanksgiving Day. I’m always intrigued with the story of the lost colony.

  16. Sounds like such an interesting play and I’m sure those ready to visit are thankful for no spoilers x

  17. Catvills says:

    I have watched several theater plays, but this is the first time I have seen an outdoor theater play. This must be a thrilling experience. My husband is such a history buff and I know he’s be so excited to go once I let him in on this. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I never knew this existed – I only knew about the story behind it. I would love to go and bring the family. Anything of historical value is great for the kids too.

  19. I would love to go to the Outer Banks. I live in Charleston SC so it isn’t too far. Maybe in a couple years. I love the story of the settlers, I love history.

  20. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    I love visiting places steeped in history and lore. But Roanoke Island is the very birthplace of colonized America, so that increases the historical value tenfold. I would love to go there and maybe catch that play while I’m at it.

  21. This sounds like a great play to watch, and even better that it is outside! It’s cool you got to speak to some of the actors too.

  22. TColeman says:

    I have always heard great things about this show. Since it reenacts things that happened at that spot, it would probably be amazing!

  23. Outdoor plays are amazing especially during the summer. The Lost Colony sounds like a great one – but running for 80 years?? That’s incredible!

  24. I never knew about the history of the lost colony of Roanoke until my husband told me about it. Knowing about it now, I would love to see this!

  25. I’ve never heard of the Lost Colony Experience before. It sounds like a cool thing to check out. Would love to check it out sometimes.

  26. This is really interesting. I never knew about this piece of US history before. The first time I ever heard of the lost colony was the last season of American Horror Story!

  27. This sounds amazing. I’m a big history buff and love being immersed in the past, especially when it comes on the form of such a engaging experience.

  28. It sounds like you had a fun time. I have always wanted to visit the Outer Banks, I have heard it’s beautiful.

  29. OMG, I have been to OBX so many times but haven’t seen this play. It’s definitely on my list for next time. Seems like a interesting one.

  30. What a fun trip! That beach looks amazing! I think it is so fun that you were able to go back stage with the play.

  31. Wow, you’re so lucky that you got what you paid for and more. Aside from watching the show, you got to have a backstage tour.

  32. I have always wanted to visit North Carolina. It really looks so beautiful there. This looks like a wonderful trip!

  33. I find the lost colony of Roanoke fascinating. I would totally love to see this show.

  34. CourtneyLynne says:

    Omg now this sounds like it was a total blast!!! I’m a huge fan of the performing arts!!! So neat that you got to attend this performance

  35. I vaguely remember learning about the Roanoke Colony back in school, but don’t remember many details. This play looks like a wonderful way to learn about it and keep the history alive.

  36. I go to the theatre quite a lot, but I’ve never been to see anything like this before! It looks fab though and I’m sure I’d love it :)

    Louise x