Waterside Theater – Manteo NC


The Waterside Theatre, at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island, is home of the long-running play “The Lost Colony.” Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Green, a native of North Carolina, the story of the mysterious lost colony of Roanoke has been running consistently, though not entirely uninterrupted, since 1937.

Workers from both the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps helped carve out and construct the original theatre, which has undergone renovations & changes over the years. Additionally, WPA actors took part in the original performances. Author Susan Quinn wrote:

“One piece of live theatre survives from the days of the Federal Theatre Project. The Lost Colony…continues to draw large crowds to Roanoke Island in North Carolina every summer. Otherwise, the Federal Theatre Project lives on only in the archives and in the stories of those who took part” (Quinn).

Source notes

(1) National Park Service, “Fort Raleigh National Historic Site: Long-Range Interpretive Plan,” 2010, available to view or download at http://www.nps.gov/hfc/pdf/ip/2010-05-14-FORA-FinalDocument.pdf , accessed September 21, 2013). (2) The Lost Colony, http://thelostcolony.org/, accessed September 21, 2013. (3) “Roanoke Island Re-Lives 350-Year-Old Tragedy Of ‘The Lost Colony,’ First Anglo Saxon Settlement In Americas,” The Gastonia Daily Gazette, August 16, 1937. (4) Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art out of Desperate Times, by Susan Quinn, New York: Walker & Company, 2008.

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - wpatoday.org on September 22, 2013.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Manteo, NC 27954

Coordinates: 35.939413, -75.709087

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