Early Drama in St. Augustine

Early Drama in St. Augustine


  • Early Drama in St. Augustine

Published Date

  • published 1940


Although details concerning this cultural phase of the city's
development are very meager, it is known that drama in St. Augustine
had an early origin. In common with other early settlements on the
continent, the first years of military conquest, consolidation of Empire,
and attendant struggle for existence left little time for the exercise of the
fine arts.

Probably the first entertainments given in St. Augustine were
pageant-processions of a religious character. A letter of Governor Pedro
Ybarra, written May 16, 1607 to the King of Spain, relates that the
"Caciques have returned to their country, dressed and very happy, and
edified with the religious services and processions they have witnessed
during the Holy Season."

Later in 1698, it is found in the Cadulas of Royal Spanish
Archives that a letter was written by the Bishop of Havana to the
Governor of St. Augustine "Approving this Governor the deligences [sic]
executed for the Pasquinade that they had in the church and the order
that he had executed for its censure." During the same year there is a
cedula condemning immoral plays.

In another cedula of 1721, reference is made to the celebration of
"Interludes" which may have been a dramatic character. Another cedula
concerns the "Jubilate" of an offer but this perhaps was nothing more
than a jollification held to celebrate an officers' retirement from the