MANTEO, N.C. — For 68 seasons, Waterside Theater has been the summer home to hundreds of aspiring actors hoping to hit the big time.
But on Friday night, the big time hits them. Lynn Redgrave, a Golden Globe winner and recent Tony nominee, is padding her resume with an eight-day run as Queen Elizabeth in "The Lost Colony."
"You know about the more famous things I've done, but I have appeared with the circus, and this I'm sure you didn't realize," said Redgrave. "And at a certain point last night, it reminded me of it."
For Redgrave, this is only her second time on an outdoor stage. It's a chance to work with childhood friend and director, Jane McCulloch, but she said what enticed her most was the house on the beach she will reside in.
It's the same story of "The Lost Colony" that has been told for years. Many of the sets and scenes have been updated, and the story is completely new for Redgrave.
"I hadn't heard of it," she said. "Shame on me, our English education, and my children raised and some of them born in America. None of us were told about this 'Lost Colony.'"
Just as the story surprised Redgrave, her appearance in the show surprised the cast.
"I was blown away," said cast member Danelle Wildermuth. "It's such a wonderful opportunity. She's just amazing to watch. We were so wrapped up in her performance, we fell silent watching her."
As Queen Elizabeth, Redgrave makes just three appearances on stage in the production. But as they say in theater, there are no small roles.
"(My legacy depends) on whether I fall on my face on Friday night, or whether I don't," she said. "If I fall on my face it may get taken off the resume. If I don't, I'll be leaving it on. But I will certainly know I will have really good memories of it."
Friday evening's show is sold out. "The Lost Colony's" most famous alumnus, Andy Griffith, will give opening remarks before the performance.
Redgrave will do six shows straight, with the last on June 8. "The Lost Colony" runs through August 18 at Waterside Theatre.