Elementary students to get peek at holiday court drama

Adding to their holiday enjoyment, Delaware students in third, fourth and fifth grades this week will visit courthouses in Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties to see live performances of the courtroom scene from the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street.

The scene will be performed at the Sussex County Courthouse on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 9:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 am., in Courtroom No. 1.

It will also be at the Kent County Courthouse on Wednesday, Dec. 11, and New Castle County Courthouse on Thursday, Dec. 12, and Friday, Dec. 13, at those same times.

More than 1,500 students throughout Delaware will attend one of the 12 events, “where we hope to spread a little holiday joy and maybe give them a small bit of insight into the court system as they take in a holiday play,” said Sean O’Sullivan, chief of community relations for Delaware courts.

“It has become a holiday tradition to perform it,” he said.

In Sussex County, Family Court Judge James McGiffin will play Santa Claus and retired judge M. Jane Brady will portray the defense attorney.

Brady has been a part of every production since 2004, when attorney Richard Herman, an intellectual property attorney, conceived of the idea. He had a contact who knew someone who owns the rights to “Miracle on 34th Street” and was able to negotiate a deal to bring the performances to Delaware courts for students, making it educational, as well as entertaining.

Other roles will be Judge Richard Stokes, the judge; Attorney Charles Coates, the grumpy prosecutor; Attorney Rob Gibbs, the psychiatrist, Dr. Westover; a court employee, Mrs. Macy; and O’Sullivan, the postmaster.


By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter