About Us


The Gentleman Adventurers is a theatrical troupe specializing in first person historical interpretation of various army and naval officers of the English Elizabethan period. We bring not only interaction on the streets but conduct duels of honor at The Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California each spring.

Each member of the Gentlemen Adventurers have conducted serious research on the character that they portray which helps them bring a slice of life to every event they attend and helps them to educate the public in Elizabethan military matters and commonplaces. Furthermore, most of our members are students in The Bankeside Schoole of Defense which enables them to stage realistic swordfights and quarrels over a gentlemen's honor.

Historically, Gentlemen Adventurers were the second and third sons of nobility, knights and land-owning gentry. Through the tradition of primogeniture, the first born sons generally gained the titles, lands and the family business upon the death of their father, whilst the second and subsequent sons were left to gain honor and glory for themselves. The most common way for these young gentlemen to move up in the world was to attach themselves to an army or naval unit. Because of their high birth, they were gentleman, not common soldiers and were frequently given command of units during a campaign. Additionally, the common soldiers would look to them for guidance if the leaders were fallen. It was believed that noble birth naturally granted the ability to lead. These were the men who gained knighthoods and glory from being involved in military actions. They were the patriots, heros and soldiers of fortune of the 16th century.

Who are the Gentlemen Adventurers?



The Gentlemen Adventurers specialize in portraying Army and Navy military officers in the service of Queen Elizabeth I. These were the men responsible for establishing England's first colonies, the exploration of the New World and heading England's interests in military matters. These were men of money, education and fortitude.

The ladies of the Gentlemen Adventurers portray the educated women of the emerging 'middle class' and frequently came from well-to-do families of the Elizabethan period. Whether they are dancing, spending their husband's money at the markets or training alongside our gentlemen, they were the backbone to all the gentlemen of the era.

The Gentlemen Adventurers began in 2001 when Mr. Michael Foster, Guildmaster for the Guild of Saint Michael in Southern California, brought together a few veteran faire actors to bring a theatrical aspect to his reenactment group.

He asked Mr. Steven Leon to lead his troupe of Gentlemen Adventurers with four other individuals to interact with the patrons of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California. Together with the Royal Militarie Academie headed by Mr. Andy Bradshaw, the Gentlemen Adventurers brought to life a group of well-to-do gentlemen and assisted the Militarie Academie in teaching the public Elizabethan military commonplaces.

Since then, our group has grown significantly and in 2004, the Gentlemen Adventurers was granted with our own troupe status within The Renaissance Pleasure Faire. The men and women of The Gentlemen Adventurers now wander the streets of faire with interaction, improvisation and conduct duels and demonstrations in period swordplay.


The Gentlemen Adventurers continue Living History by conducting performances in three aspects:

  • Interaction - With specialized workshops and training, each member of the Gentlemen Adventurers is able to interact with those who visit a specific event whether it is a school presentation, living history event, corporate party or a themed based wedding.
  • Education - Most members of the Gentlemen Adventurers have chosen historical characters to portray and have done exhausting research to ensure their portrayal is as accurate as possible. Additionally, our members have done extensive research in all aspects of Elizabethan daily life, military matters and naval commonplaces of the period.
  • Stage Combat - Most of the members of The Gentlemen Adventurers are current students in The Bankeside Schoole of Defense which enables them to conduct demonstrations with the various weapons used during the latter part of the 16th century in a safe, yet engaging manner. These include such weapons as the rapier and companion weapons, broad and back swords, longswords,quarterstaves and dagger fighting. For more information on The Bankeside Schoole of Defense, please visit our website at http://www.bankeside.org.