Broadway Team Helmed By Jeff Whiting Reimagines THE LOST COLONY

The updated production features a dynamic new symphonic score by composer Sam Davis and other theatrical staging elements.

By: Jun. 07, 2021

Broadway Team Helmed By Jeff Whiting Reimagines THE LOST COLONY

America's longest running outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, has been newly reimagined by Director Jeff Whiting (Big Fish, Scottsboro Boys) and a creative team of Broadway professionals, bringing the production's 84th Season to life in a brand new way.

The updated production features a dynamic new symphonic score by composer Sam Davis (Beauty and the Beast, American in Paris) and other theatrical staging elements, including puppet design by Nicholas Mahon (2018 Winter Olympics), scenic design by Emmy winning designer Jason Ardizzone-West (Jesus Christ Superstar), and costume design by Mariah Anzaldo Hale (A Bronx Tale).

The production tells the real-life mystery of the 1587 attempt to establish an English settlement on Roanoke Island before they mysteriously disappeared. The Waterside Theatre, which stands on the very ground where the historical events took place, depicts this outdoor drama. The production, which earned a Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre in 2013, reached out to director Jeff Whiting to update the show.

"My goal in reimagining the production," Whiting says, "was to honor the incredible legacy of the production while finding new theatrical ways to expand some of the staging elements in this stunning outdoor venue, so audiences could experience the show in a new way."

While expanding the visual aspects of the show with puppets that seem to be made from the surrounding trees and dynamic dance sequences with drum corps and color guard, Whiting and his team have worked to find a way to tell the story in a respectful way to all involved. There are a number of Native American characters in the show and in the past the characters have not been portrayed by Indigenous actors, but this year the team insisted that only Indigenous actors play those roles.

"It's absolutely essential that the Native American characters in the play be portrayed by Indigenous performers," Whiting says. "We are so lucky to have the guidance of members from the Lumbee, Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi and Chickahominy Tribes and other Indigenous artists as we worked to create a show which incorporates their much-needed voice in order to tell this story in the right way."

Whiting brought in Native American choreographer Jerad Todacheenie (Navajo/Tlingit Alaskan)., who created the Indigenous dance sequences and drummer Kaya Littleturtle (Lumbee) who worked closely with the team to incorporate authentic Indigenous music and also to ensure that the story was being told in a respectful manner.

Chairman of the Board, Kevin Bradley, said, "We knew we wanted to engage the Broadway theatrical community with our production and once we secured Jeff Whiting's commitment to direct - we are in awe of the talent he brought in from Broadway."

Also among the creative team are lighting designer Joshua C. Allen, sound designer Michael Rasbury, property designer Claire M. Kavanah (Girl from the North Country), fight director Jason Paul Tate, special effects designer Anna L. Newbury, fight supervisor Robert Midgette, music director Jesse Kissel (Chicago, The Visit), drum corps director Justin Mabry, color guard choreographer Tykeem Rainey, associate director Julie A. Richardson, assistant choreographer Chelsea Langevin, production stage manager Mary Dennis (Waitress), and technical director Hank Hale (West Side Story).

The cast includes: Bailey Frankenberg, Joey Cassella, Kayla Jean Oxendine, Regina Harbour, Nakya Leviner, Zakia Blackburn, Benedetto Robinson, Stuart Parks II, Jack Cherry, Abigail Theakston, Jon Meyer, Finn Steward, Eric Greene, Mahlea Hunt, Frank Lowery, Catherine Ammons, Mason Blaine, Riya Braunstein, Forrest Brennan, Kaylie Brooke, Jimmie Lee Brooks III, Ben Campbell, Kiryat Jearim Castillo, Caleb Cherry, Aaron Coleman, Cheyenne Daniel, Cormac Davis, Finnegan Davis, Rylen Durocher, Rebbekkah Eller, Bradley Anne Folkes, Ariel Friendly, Kylie Giliberto, Chloe Greene, Dave Holton, Jawan Hunt, Kinley Jackson, Halona Lewis, Jasmine Lewis, Jaylen Lindsay, Guy Lisky, Laura Long, Stevie Lowry, Zoe Manolas, Austin Martin, Emily Ann Mohler, Courtney Sue Mulford, Jonas Rush, Ruthie Sangster, Olivia Schaperjohn, Kristi Sexton, Hillary Simpson, Tenley Simpson, Michael Sloan, Katie Smith, D'Asia Stevenson, Annabelle Szepietowski, Megan Tatum, Charlie Tucker, Marguerite Vallespir, and Jordan Webb.

The production runs through August 21st at The Waterside Theatre in Manteo, NC.

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