The Rockaway Township Public Library, along with our Friends group and other community members, presented a real-life, 19th-century trial reenactment fundraiser. This event, which depicted the trial following the 1882 murder of Benedict Shidecker, brought in 100 attendees and raised over $1,600. Being a smaller library, this was considered a huge success.
We were able to work with our township to use their court/multi-purpose room to increase the number of people that could attend and create a courtroom ambiance that helped bring the re-enactment to life. The audience was prompted to participate at various points throughout the performance, including the selection of 12 audience members to serve as the jury. Our Friends group took over much of the planning of the fundraiser this year, but I will include some information from our previous year’s theater fundraiser, which I was far more involved in planning.
A library's reenactment of a local, 19th-century murder trial attracted 100 paying attendees.