This, unfortunately, is the second post I’ve written about a fire at an NC cultural institution destroying irreplaceable costumes and artifacts. The good news is that today’s subject, The Lost Colony outdoor drama of Roanoke Island, is currently celebrating a renewal.
The September 2007 fire destroyed the costume shop and its contents, requiring renowned designer William Ivey Long and his crew to painfully reconstruct and “age” the approximately 1,000 costumes lost—a task Long described as “the greatest challenge and . . . the greatest assignment of my entire life.”
The Hugh Morton image below shows some of those beautiful costumes in detail—and, you just might recognize the young lad on the right.
This image appears on page 281 of the 1988 book Making a Difference in North Carolina, with the following caption:
The lanky, tousel [sic]-headed Sir Walter Raleigh is Andy Griffith, a former drama major and PlayMaker at UNC-Chapel Hill. Paul Green’s great outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, was just beginning its long run to success when Griffith won the audition for the role. He moved to Manteo and played Sir Walter for the next six years. The drama was, and is, valuable experience and summer employment for summer actors and actresses.
In the wake of the fire, Griffith donated his sword (shown above), initially thought destroyed, back to the production.
The image below shows the costumes in full color (though they look slightly altered from the earlier image), worn by later versions of Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter.