Posted by: Ashley | June 18, 2014

Archivist Moonlights as John White

[This blog post comes from the Outer Banks History Center.]

Outer Banks History Center archivist Stuart Parks II, as Governor John White, and Diana McQueen, as Queen Elizabeth I, await their entrance cues backstage at The Lost Colony

Outer Banks History Center archivist Stuart Parks II, as Governor John White, and Diana McQueen, as Queen Elizabeth I, await their entrance cues backstage at The Lost Colony.

Stuart R. Parks II is carrying on a Roanoke Island tradition which started over seventy-five years ago. Parks, an archivist at the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, is playing a principal role in Paul Green’s play, The Lost Colony, the outdoor drama that tells the story of England’s ill-fated attempt at settling the “New World.”

The pageant-drama began as a product of the Federal Theater Project, part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Indeed the president even took in the play during its first season in 1937. Thousands have acted, danced and sung in the drama during its tenure, and many fondly remember their summers “in the cast of the Colony.” Parks, who has been active in community theater since moving to the area in 2008, portrays the role of John White, grandfather of the famed Virginia Dare.

The Outer Banks History Center is a regional archives and research library of the State Archives of North Carolina on Roanoke Island. Its holdings include ephemera, souvenir programs and photographs from The Lost Colony. Additionally, over 65 cubic feet of records of the Roanoke Island Historical Association, producers of the play, are also housed there, and are available to the public for research.

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