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Florida State Play

"Cross and Sword"

Florida State Play - Cross and Sword

by Paul Green

Adopted in 1973

"Cross and Sword," Florida's official state play since its designation by the 1973 legislature, dramatizes the story of Spanish colonization of the nation's first city, St. Augustine.

The pageant, written by Paul Green, features lavish costumes, dramatic lighting, and stirring music. It entwines the lives of some of Florida's early European settlers: Pedro Menendez, Jean Ribault, and Father López.

Tells the story of the Spanish colonization of the nation's first city, St. Augustine. It is presented at that city's amphitheater each night except Sunday throughout the summer months.

It was performed during the summer in St. Augustine for more than 30 years, closing in 1996

Florida State Play: "Cross and Sword"

Florida State Play - Cross and Sword

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green created a play in 1937 about Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Colony entitled Lost Colony. It was written as a "symphonic drama" blending music, dance, pantomime, and poetic dialogue into a larger-than-life historical play. In 1965 Green was commissioned to write a play commemorating the 400th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine. The play was to be performed at the newly constructed, 2,000 seat St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The result was Cross and Sword: A Symphonic Drama of the Spanish Settlement of Florida. The play is a musical reenactment depicting Florida's early history at St. Augustine, especially its colonization by Spaniard Pedro Menendez de Aviles and his settlers' bloody conflicts with French Huguenots at Fort Caroline in present day Jacksonville.

Florida Law

The law designating the historical pageant by Paul Green known as the "Cross and Sword," as the official Florida state play is found in the Florida Revised Statutes, Title 2, Chapter 15, Section 15.035

SECTION 035 Official state play.

15.035 Official state play.- The historical pageant by Paul Green known as the "Cross and Sword,"  presented annually by the citizens of the City of St. Augustine, is hereby designated the official play of the state.
History.- s. 1, ch. 73-79.

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