By Mike Miller April 17, 2023
For over three decades, the "Cross and Sword" outdoor drama in St. Augustine, Florida, was a beloved attraction that brought the history of the state to life.
The play featured a cast of actors, live animals, and an impressive set that recreated the founding of St. Augustine and the struggles between the Spanish and Native American tribes.
Unfortunately, "Cross and Sword" closed its curtains for the last time in 1996, leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.
The "Cross and Sword" outdoor drama began in 1965, produced by the Florida State University Drama Department.
The play was written by Paul Green and directed by Richard Fallon, who envisioned a theatrical experience that would educate and entertain visitors about the rich history of St. Augustine.
The play featured a large cast of actors who performed on a massive stage that recreated a Spanish fort and a Native American village.
The story of "Cross and Sword" was set in the 16th century and told the tale of the founding of St. Augustine by Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.
The play highlighted the struggles between the Spanish and Native American tribes, including the Timucua and the Apalachee, and their efforts to coexist in a new and unfamiliar land.
The production was a massive undertaking, with live horses and other animals, period costumes, and special effects that brought the story to life.
Over the years, "Cross and Sword" became a beloved attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year.
The play became an important part of the cultural heritage of St. Augustine and was considered one of the must-see attractions of the city.
However, by the 1990s, the popularity of the play had begun to decline, and financial difficulties made it difficult to keep the production going.
In 1996, "Cross and Sword" closed its doors for the last time, leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.
The set and costumes were donated to the city of St. Augustine, and the property where the play was performed was sold to a developer.
Today, a residential community stands in its place, and the legacy of "Cross and Sword" lives on in the memories of those who experienced it.