Located in Manteo, NC is “The Lost Colony” play (although it has quite a bit of music too- just no leads busting out into their inner monologue in ballad form). Held in the Waterside Theater it has been running for 80 years with only interruptions for WWII and hurricane destruction.
Ready to head out yourself? Check out my Frugal Travel Ideas!
The path leading down to the theater was beautiful!
The show is all outside and when you get nice weather like we did it is STUNNING. While watching the show you can hear all the insects in the woods, see birds fly over head and even see the occasional brave squirrel take his place on stage. It helps give a sense of what the sounds might have been like for those settlers. If you look at the picture above you can see the beautiful blue sky. The show begins at 7:45 p.m. so at this time of year the sunset occurs during the show. It makes a beautiful view all by itself.
The trees all over the property are stunning.
Another element that brings the history to life even more is that the theater is inside the Fort Raleigh National Park. And that park is the place that all this history actually occurred. The spot we visited is where the ships actually landed and the colonists lived.
I knew I was going to write about this trip for you all so I got the most expensive ticket possible for the event– at $50. However there are much more frugal options. You can see my thoughts on each portion of the ticket after the price information (these prices are current as of August 2017):
The Lost Colony Character Dinner (Adults Tickets $50, Child 6 – 12 $25 and Child 3 – 5 $10): This gives you Pasta Buffet meal, Premier Seating, a souvenir program, a backstage tour, and a special gift. I chose this because the trip was last minute and I had no time to do research on local places to eat. From our drive down there are TONS of them so if you have time to do a big of a web search you can certainly find a great meal nearby.
The Lost Colony VIP Ticket (Adult Tickets $40 and Child Ticket $20): This gives you Premier Seating, a souvenir program, a backstage tour, VIP Lanyard and a special gift.
Adult Tickets Start at $20: There are discounts for AAA, Military and Seniors in the Premier and Prime seating areas
Teens Thirteen to Eighteen are 10% Off.
Kids Six to Twelve are Half Price.
There Are Group Discounts for 15 People or More.
Since we purchased the Character Dinner package we were served dinner. Dinner was straight up Pizza Hut pasta, salad, breadsticks and dessert along with soda or water. They didn’t even try to hide it- used Pizza Hut plates! Since the meal was only $5 of the ticket it seemed pretty fair.
Pasta with Alfredo sauce, bread sticks and salad!
Also at dinner they had some of the prop pieces and costumes they use during the actual show. You could touch them and try on the costume pieces.
The queen’s throne and globe. The seat was HUGE to accommodate her costume.
This was one of the Red Guards helmets. It was REALLY heavy to be wearing on stage.
A Souvenir Program
The program is beautiful. Lots of glossy pages with historical timelines. This was $5 of our ticket as well. I’m not sure I would have paid $5 for it out of pocket but since we had it there was lots to read. We also had the actors sign next to their pictures at the character dinner. Because you never know- they could be famous one day!
Back Stage Tour
After dinner several of the cast members (who had been hanging around and performing during the meal) lead us on a Back Stage Tour. As someone who does shows I am accustomed to the hustle backstage but you could see my fellow tour members amazed at everything being done. The cast members were very friendly and knowledgeable. I don’t want to reveal too much in case you take the tour yourself!
In the show you see several ships come and go. Here is what it looks like backstage!
The back of the set and some of the weapons to be used!
Cast members running around with set pieces!
The view is amazing. Because they are on the edge of the island it’s water as far as the eye can see. The best views in the house are backstage!
After the tour was finished we hit up the gift shop, concessions, ran into my parents (who were also attending the show that night) and went down to our seats.
They have some local wines with names from the show for sale by the glass or bottle at the concession stand!
And the prices since I want you to know what you are getting into!
The Waterside Theater does not have bad seats. The show is big with action all over the place. Our view from Premier Seating was great- about ten rows back. However the family next to me had a child (maybe about 8?) and after being kicked, hit, punched and just generally bothered we sat a bit further back during the second act. It was much more relaxing and the view in the “cheap seats” was still great.
Also the seats are surprisingly comfortable. Very much like a baseball game or outdoor concert venue.
“The Lost Colony” Play
You can take pictures during the show as long as you don’t use a flash so I grabbed just a few. I really prefer to enjoy my shows without the aid of technology.
The show was fantastic. The story is historically based so there were no surprises for me but the dancing especially was incredible. There were a few glitches with microphones and one gun that didn’t fire but other than that it seemed smooth sailing. There is fire, gun fire, sword fighting and stage combat in the show. It provides a sharp contrast to the scenes with the proper British court.
Ready to visit yourself? Click here to check out the official website- they have special events and other performances as well!