A Brief History

The Founding

Swords and Roses was started more than 15 years ago as a sister act. Maria Romine-Kantor and Susan (Romine) Tan thought their latent frustrations would be best expressed in public… with swords… and medieval dress… yup, these are our fearless leaders.


In truth it started because Susan and Maria liked to play dress up. Nope we’re not kidding. They got involved in the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Fair, and the Society for Creative Anachronism, and found they liked not only dressing in the trendy styles of the 1600’s, but also enjoyed pummeling each other. Soon they found themselves being training by certified teachers, fight directors and fight masters from the American Society of Fight Directors, and starring in their own show at the faire where two lady pirates would battle to a stalemate and the audience would choose the ending. It was a resounding success and soon Susan and Maria were doing shows at libraries and other events around town. High energy, funny, and engaging, the mission of these original shows was to bring family friendly entertainment to the public, and proving over and over again (more than 3 times per day), that girls can fight!

The Audrey

Then, one sad day, Susan married a lovely doctor named Marcus and decided to have an adorable baby named Audrey.


Okay, so it’s not sad, but needless to say she had other swashes to buckle.

The Gathering

And so Maria decided to hire some girls to keep the show alive.

Today the company consists of 10 women who run 2 and 3 person shows throughout the St. Louis area – and soon… THE WORLD! Okay, maybe just California… We have also expanded our shows to include more education, more interaction, and more action than ever before.

That’s not all that’s changed. While we have not abandoned our piratical roots, we now offer shows about ninjas, superheros, cowpolks, gladiators, and some dangerously-close-to-copyright-violating-science-fiction characters (it’s fair use!). Everything we do has our audience in mind, and our job is to make sure you have a great time.

A Baby Sequel: Eliana

Oh and Susan had another cute baby. They all are honorary members!