Raintree Restaurant Group Dinner Show Option

Dona Maria De Menendez, La Bastarda

Raintree Restaurant of St. Augustine and Dianne Thompson Jacoby can offer your group an historical dinner theater experience. A Stetson University’s Elderhostel/Road Scholar, Dianne is an Historical Dramatist who performs one woman dramas. All shows are available full length and luncheon length.
Contact Raintree Restaurant at (904) 824-7211
to reserve a dramatic culinary experience for your group.

Description of Dona Maria De Menendez, La Bastarda

Dianne Thompson Jacoby performing Dona Maria De Menendez, La Bastarda

Elegant 16th century Spanish noblewoman, Dona Maria de Menendez, illegitimate daughter Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, tells the story of her life in the tiny colony of Santa Elena as well as in the noble life she left behind in Espana. Although known as La Bastarda, she was raised within the family of her renown father, the Governor General of La Florida, the Adelantado, the founder of St. Augustine and Protector of the Holy Catholic Church.

Don Pedro Menendez had always lived a life of danger and adventure but Dona Maria had lived a life of refinement and is affronted to find herself in the colony of Santa Elena when she marries one of Menendez’ conquistadors. Her pious and rigid father was absent from his family during most of his career as a successful admiral sailing the seas for his king. Maria recalls his amazing military career with reverence as she shares La Florida’s history. At the point that she arrives in Santa Elena Don Pedro has sent for his wife and family to join him. His wish is to make Santa Elena the military headquarters of La Florida. She finds herself ill prepared for the difficult life of the fledgling colony with the company of terrifying native people and lowly soldados.

As time passes it becomes apparent that as hard as her father has worked, eventually he must return to Espana to raise funds for La Florida. In his absence the colony struggles mightily with the mismanagement and cruel tactics of her husband who was left in command. Eventually the anger of the native people forces the colony to flee to the San Agustin colony.

Don Pedro Menendez succumbs to a fever in Spain and was never able to return to his beloved La Florida. In a turn of fate Dona Maria, now a widow after her husband perished in prison, inherits a large portion of her father’s estate. It seems she was declared legitimate when it was apparent she was the only child to produce a male heir to continue the lineage. She inherited all the family holdings in New Spain – Mexico!

I was inspired to research and write the story of Maria during St. Augustine’s 450th celebration. So much was done to honor Menendez but I wanted to salute the lives of the valiant women who lived in our earliest La Florida colonies.

Contact Raintree Restaurant at (904) 824-7211
to reserve a dramatic culinary experience for your group.

Meet Dianne Thompson Jacoby

Dianne Thompson Jacoby as Mary Lily Flagler

Dianne is a fourth generation Floridian living in St. Augustine, the Oldest City where she lectures, performs and coordinates Stetson University’s Elderhostel/Road Scholar programs for Stetson University as an adjunct professor. She is also a graduate of Stetson University.

As an Educator, she taught for many years and was an adjunct professor o Art at Flagler College for ten years.

As an Artist, Dianne has exhibited her paintings throughout the United States, she is now specializing in portraits and custom mural painting.

As an Historical Dramatist she researched, wrote and performs one woman dramas.

She is a founding member of St. George Players Theater Troupe performing 16th century Comedia and Mummers shows. She also performs dinner theatre, mystery theatre as well as historical films and educational videos.

As a historical re-enactor she interprets personas from the 1500’s through the Victorian Gilded Age. She serves as a consultant and educator in the area of historical clothing and costuming. She has National Park Service certification in black powder cannon and musket.

Her special interests include Historical preservation and heritage tourism.

Dona Maria De Menendez, La Bastarda November 14, 2018