Smiling man with short dark hair

Denis Goodman interview #5

Sunday, October 31, 2021 – 3:35 p.m.

Denis Goodman is the resident playwright for the Yoknapatawpha Players.

Detectives Magee and Beckwith brought him into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department for some more questions.


Detective Magee: Denis, were any of the characters wearing a raincoat?

Denis Goodman: Look, detective. I just write the plays. I already told you I didn't watch the rehearsal, so I'd have no way of knowing.

Detective Magee: So wait. You didn't watch this particular rehearsal, or you didn't watch any of the rehearsals?

Denis Goodman: I stop watching my plays once the tech rehearsals begin, about a week before opening. All the script changes should be done by that point. I mean, it's community theatre. We don't preview in Weehawken, New Jersey, to work the script for six weeks before opening on Broadway. You can't expect these actors to learn a new script on such short notice.

Detective Beckwith: Did you write anything that required any character to wear a raincoat, or did the script mention a raincoat?

Denis Goodman: No. There wasn't a call for a raincoat. I didn't write the word "raincoat" anywhere in the script, either to be uttered by an actor or jauntily draped across anyone's shoulders.

Detective Magee: Did you see anyone backstage wearing a raincoat?

Denis Goodman: I didn't see anyone wearing a raincoat. I didn't hear the rustle of a raincoat. I didn't hear any of the actors talking about a raincoat. The answer to all things "raincoat" is no.

Detective Beckwith: Lose the attitude, Denis.

Detective Magee: Tell me again where you were at the end of the play.

Denis Goodman: At the evacuation point, detective.

Detective Magee: You sure? Who else was there?

Denis Goodman: Everyone was there. It was the evacuation point.

Detective Magee: Specifically, name some names.

Denis Goodman: Neal, Janet, Woody —

Detective Beckwith: Woody? Really? Because Woody tells us you weren't there.

Denis Goodman: Yes, I was! I was there!

Detective Magee: At the evacuation point?

Denis Goodman: Yes, at the evacuation point.

Detective Beckwith: Why does the stage manager say otherwise, Denis?

Denis Goodman: He may not have seen me.

Detective Beckwith: Why is that?

Denis Goodman: Because. I was hiding, that's why—behind a dusty, fake ficus tree.

Detective Magee: What for?

Denis Goodman: So I could hear feedback. Honest feedback. I usually slip behind a wall or crouch behind a piece of furniture. The actors are less inhibited that way.

Detective Magee: So you were there hiding at the end of the show?

Denis Goodman: Yes. I told you before I overheard some comments.

Detective Beckwith: Right.

Denis Goodman: And that's where I overheard Neal whispering to Janet something about being lucky that the falling set didn't kill anyone.

Detective Beckwith: Really. This is new information, Denis.

Denis Goodman: Yeah, sorry. I wasn't holding out or anything. It just slipped my mind.

Detective Magee: Neal and Janet, whispering to each other?

Denis Goodman: Yes.

Detective Beckwith: Did you find that odd?

Denis Goodman: No, not really. Actually, Janet has a thing for Neal. It's kind of sweet. Well, Janet's sweet. Neal doesn't know, so it gets a little too precious sometimes, but hey, whatever. If she wants to rearrange the teams to get to stand next to Neal, who am I to argue?

Detective Beckwith: She rearranged the teams?

Denis Goodman: She asked me to do it.

Detective Magee: Why you?

Denis Goodman: Anna would've said no, and I didn't care one way or the other.

Detective Magee: And you knew this before the play started.

Denis Goodman: Yes, of course. Are we going to be able to wrap this up soon, detective?

Detective Beckwith: I sure hope so, Denis. But we'll see.

Interview ended – 3:48 p.m.