PEMBROKE — Kaya Littleturtle Clark, an 18-year-old Robeson County native, has been cast as the Medicine Man in the outdoor drama “The Lost Colony.”
“Robesonians have at least one good reason to attend the 75th anniversary season of ‘The Lost Colony’,” Clark said of the show, which dramatizes the events of vanished colonists more than 400 years ago.
“The Lost Colony,” which opened on July 4, 1937, was meant to last only one season, but now runs June through August on Roanoke Island in the state’s Outer Banks region near present-day Manteo. The show has seen more than 4 million visitors since its first opening, and continues to be the longest-running outdoor symphonic drama in the United States.
“The Lost Colony” dramatizes the events which occurred after 117 men, women and children sailed from Plymouth, England, in an attempt to settle on Roanoke Island. After disappearing only two years later, the only clue they left behind was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post.
Kaya attributes his American Indian roots for helping him prepare for the role.
Raymond “Spotted Turtle” Clark, Kaya’s great-grandfather, was a prominent Lumbee-Cheraw cultural arts scholar and adviser. Kaya’s grandfather, Ray Littleturtle, taught him in matters pertaining to American Indian traditions, customs and history. His grandmother, Kat Littleturtle, a storyteller of Cherokee Indian descent, instilled in him invaluable lessons in matters of native heart, spirit and soul. He also garnished support from his parents, Anthony “Tony” Clark and Angelica “Angel” Lilly Clark.
Kaya, a member of the Lumbee Indian tribe, has experiences performing in American Indian dance, song, drum, film, and stage in the United States, Canada, and in New Zealand. He has performed native arts in various venues throughout the U.S., including at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C.
Kaya has also played the characters of Andrew Strong and Henderson Oxendine in the outdoor drama, “Strike at the Wind!” In March 2011, he participated in the movie “Tecumseh,” which was filmed in Williamsburg, Va. As part of the cast of “The Lost Colony,” Kaya joins the likes of Andy Griffith, who died Tuesday. Griffith got his start acting in the production.
Written by Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Paul Green, “The Lost Colony” will be performed summer nights by a company of more than 100 actors, dancers, singers and technicians.
For ticket information, visit thelostcolony.org