YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Investigating Officer(s): Det. P. Beckwith, Det. J. Magee
Incident No.: 005121-27J-2021
Case Description: Scott Bryant death investigation
After the Crime Lab found a potentially suspicious blood pattern on the back of the set wall that landed on Scott Bryant's body, YCSD investigators spoke to the cast and crew to try to determine when the blood might have gotten there.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all the interviews conducted.
Age 29, actor/stagehand
As someone who had a hand in constructing the set, Nathan said all of the main buildings were designed to look like a structure that could occur in a U.S. Army logistics support camp. While the buildings were painted to look weathered, none of them were painted with bloodstains.
Nathan remembers that he was near the backstage side of the mobile lab at around 4:00 p.m. the day of the rehearsal, doing a last-minute walk-through of his zombie's movements just before he went to makeup. He was pretty sure that the mobile lab wall had no bloodstains on it at that time but couldn't be absolutely sure.
Nathan also confirmed that Martin Vargas did run backstage in the vicinity of where Scott Bryant's body was found during the climactic battle of the play.
When asked if any parts of the set were fragile enough to fall down during a performance, Nathan said he didn't think so. However, Nathan did say that Scott told him to get ready to play Martin's role on short notice, so Nathan speculated that Scott may have thought that parts of the set were so cheap that they posed a danger to the cast and crew.
Isabelle "Essie" Joplin
Age 32, actress/ticketing
Essie, who had a zombie role in the show, said she didn't see Scott, who was also playing a zombie role, during the climactic battle of the play. However, she said there was so much action during that part of the play that, unless you were actively looking for someone, no one would have recognized Scott in his makeup.
Essie did say that once Martin Vargas's character shot her zombie character, the script called for Martin to run out of ammunition and run backstage for a new weapon, leaving the audience without a "hero" for a time.
Essie said that the place where Martin ran backstage is near the place where Scott's body was found.
Martin returned to the battlefield within a few minutes and was theatrically killed by Weston's zombie character. After everyone but Martin was in the maze, Essie left the battlefield to go to the west entrance in case Lara Shipp or others dropped in on the show. Scott had told her to do this because he knew that they would be shorthanded on rehearsal day and wanted someone to be available for them.
She does remember when the mobile lab was designed. Essie said whatever blood is on the northern exterior side had to have been applied during the show because none of the backstage-facing set was finished in order to save money.
Weston "West" Naboa
Age 39, actor
When asked about the portion of the set, the north wall of the mobile hospital lab, that fell on Scott Bryant, Weston said the north wall butted up against the backstage area so the audience members would never have had access to that side of the wall.
As the first actor to be killed and turned into a zombie, Weston reported that he did leave the performance area early on in the performance and went backstage on the western end of the theater to put on his zombie makeup. Crew member Camille Stargel, who was already in a zombie costume, helped him with the makeup.
Once in costume, Weston said he and Camille re-entered the performance area on the western side of the mobile lab and attacked, entering the lab and chasing the audience and other actors into the open performance space on the other side of the lab.
Weston remembered that at the time he entered the lab, he saw all actors and crew in the lab or just leaving out the lab's rear door, except Scott Bryant and Heath Rushing.
When shown a picture of a void in a bloodstain located on the bottom portion of the northern exterior side of the mobile lab wall, Weston could not comment on the stain, saying that he doesn't do anything with set design.
Camille "Cammy" Stargel
Age 29, crew
Camille "Cammy" Stargel was doing makeup during the show and performing as a zombie. She confirmed that she did Weston's zombie makeup backstage just after the first act of the play. She also said she saw Scott Bryant move past them while they were backstage at that time.
Camille said she and Weston entered the performance area on the western side of the mobile lab and attacked the lab as scripted. Her zombie performance ended in the early part of the maze when an audience member "killed" her. At that point, she was going backstage again to remove her makeup, but as she used a secret door from the maze to the backstage area, she ran into Heath Rushing, who was attempting to return to the performance area. To Camille, Heath seemed sick, so she guided him back to the evacuation point in the east lobby.
Camille also worked on set design. She said all parts of the set that face backstage are unfinished. She was adamant that there would be no art or fake blood on the backstage-facing, north wall of the mobile lab. Camille said the actors had blood applied to their costumes during the show, but it was limited to the backstage makeup areas, not in the middle of the warehouse where Scott Bryant's body was discovered.