Broadway Honors 'The Lost Colony' With Tony

Jun 10, 2013

One of the longest-running outdoor dramas in the country, The Lost Colony, has won a Tony Honor for excellence in theatre. It's a first for North Carolina. This summer, the show enters its 76th season in Manteo, which is part of the Outer Banks.

England's first colony in the New World was established by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587 on what is now Roanoke Island. Just a few years later, the entire colony had mysteriously disappeared. All 100 or so settlers were gone. Their whereabouts were never discovered.

The Lost Colony CEO Bill Coleman and director Ira David Wood III accept the 2013 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre at the 2013 Tony Awards Eve Cocktail Party at Lugo Caffe on June 8, 2013.
Credit Tony Awards

Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Paul Green turned the story of this "lost colony" into a play that was first performed on that same site in 1937.

Charles Massey, marketing director for The Lost Colony, says that because the show runs in the summer and is not in New York, it doesn't qualify for a Tony Award. The group petitioned for a Tony honor last year when it was celebrating its 75th anniversary.

"But there were other organizations older than us, like the Brooklyn Academy of Music was 100 years old that year, so we were reconsidered this year and received it this year," Massey says.  

Over the weekend, The Lost Colony made Tony Awards history by being the first North Carolina theater - and the only outdoor theater - to receive the honor.

It's considered a classic in North Carolina theater and the training ground for prominent actors, designers and singers like Andy Griffith, William Ivey Long, Terence Mann and Steve Kazee.