Gearing Up for The Lost Colony’s 87th Season and How You Can Help

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Lost Colony might be a summer production, but making the three-month-long summer production happen takes an entire year’s worth of planning.

“We’re at a particularly busy time right now,” says Executive Director Chuck Still.

Thanks to a $5 million capital grant from the state, this winter and spring The Lost Colony is in the midst of making capital purchases for the theater and making major improvements to Morrison Grove Apartments, where the student actors live during the summer. They are also working on contracts with production staff, hiring people and coordinating their housing and travel, conducting fundraising campaigns for operational costs and planning their spring fundraising wine festival. Next week they start actor auditions, and in early April they begin loading in the technical apparatus for lights and sound. They start rehearsals on May 6, and the show kicks off with preview night on May 30 – a short three months away. The regular season will be held from June 1 to August 24.

Making The Lost Colony happen for the last 86 years has always required community support. Whether you are an Outer Banks local, part-time resident or visitor, there are many ways you can get involved with The Lost Colony, from donating money to volunteering to auditioning for the show. Keep reading to see how you can engage with the show or help keep it going for years to come.

Audition for the Cast

Director and choreographer Jeff Whiting and his team will be holding local auditions at Manteo High School on March 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Still encourages any Outer Banks locals to try out for the cast or the ensemble.

“Anyone who has ever wanted to be in the show should come on out,” he says. He adds that the more locals they have in the show, the bigger cast they can have. This is because locals do not require housing. “Our cast size for people from out of town is limited to people we can house,” he says.

Still also encourages adults to try out. “Our local cast is primarily children and young people,” he says. “Not a whole lot of adults try out. More variety in ages on stage would be nice.”

To register for a live audition, click here. Once you have registered you will receive an audition time. Everyone attending the auditions will need to bring a recent photograph and resume.

Other audition dates include auditions in Pembroke, North Carolina, on March 11 and auditions at the Southeast Theater Conference in Mobile, Alabama, from March 13 to 17.

Apply for a Summer Job

Applications from the crew are being accepted now. Positions are available in wardrobe, carpentry/props, lighting, sound and more. Front-of-the-house job opportunities are available for ushers, ticket takers, gift shop, bartenders and box office. Click here to apply.


Still says The Lost Colony always needs volunteers. Volunteers are needed for the upcoming Lost Colony Wine Festival on April 13. The costume department needs people who can sew anytime in the next couple of months. They can use some help setting up trees for the set. Volunteers are needed for landscaping, maintenance, cleaning, handiwork, hospitality, office work, ushering and more. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here or call (252) 473-2127.

Photo: Attending The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival will help raise money for The Lost Colony production.

Help Them Raise Money

The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival

Saturday, April 13, 2 to 5 p.m.

The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival is a major fundraising event for The Lost Colony. Presented by Roanoke Island Historical Association, it’s a way to help support The Lost Colony while having a great time. The Grand Tasting is an afternoon of tastings by 10 of the Outer Banks’ favorite restaurants along with wine, craft beers, a silent auction, artist vendors and live music. It’s all held at the Sound Stage of Waterside Theatre with spectacular views of Roanoke Sound. Tickets are on sale now, and purchasing early is recommended as this event will sell out. Tickets cost $80 per person or $35 for a designated driver. There’s also a Vintner’s Reception on Friday, April 12 with Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Sea Chef Catering. This will take place at 108 Budleigh in Downtown Manteo from 5 to 8 pm. Tickets cost $125. Click here for more information or tickets. 

Anonymous Challenge

The Lost Colony is currently holding a fundraising campaign called the Anonymous Challenge. If they can raise $100,000 by March 31, supporters at the Anonymous Trust will match that with an additional $100,000. Still says this money will be used for operational and production expenses rather than capital expenses. You can help them meet their goal by donating here


Joining Roanoke Island Historical Association as a member not only supports The Lost Colony but also gives members discounts on show tickets and wine festival tickets. There are many levels of membership, which you can find here

Photo: Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night of the season, a Native American Pre-Show is performed at 8 p.m., just before the start of the 8:30 p.m. show.

Buy Show Tickets

The best way to support The Lost Colony is to see the show and encourage others to see the show. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen The Lost Colony, you’ll be surprised at the way the producers and director have updated the show while still being true to original story that Paul Green wrote in 1937. This is the longest-running outdoor symphonic drama in America, and it features a cast and crew of more than 100 people plus stunning costumes, expert choreography and amazing light and sound techniques that bring a modern twist a timeless story. Read more about the reimagination of The Lost Colony in this blog I wrote last summer after seeing the show.

Summer tickets are on sale now. The show runs Monday through Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $25 to $40 depending on location. Kids ages 5 and younger get in free every night. Kids ages 6 to 12 get half off the adult ticket price Tuesday through Saturday and they get in free every Monday night. Senior/military/student and group discounts are available.

On Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights, there’s a Native American Pre-Show starting at 8 p.m. This is included in the show ticket price.

Backstage tours are held Monday through Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. from June 3 to August 24. Tours cost $15 per person. Click here for all the information you need and to buy tickets.

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks.