Ervin Cyr interview
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 – 9:35 p.m.
Ervin Cyr, a member of the Yoknapatawpha Players board and a local doctor, performed CPR on Scott Bryant until EMTs arrived. Officers later transported him to the Sheriff's Department.
Detectives Magee and Beckwith spoke with Dr. Cyr at the station.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Ervin Cyr
Detective Beckwith: I'm Detective Paul Beckwith, and this is Detective Jo Magee. We'd like to ask you a few questions.
Ervin Cyr: Certainly.
Detective Beckwith: First, could you give us your name and address for our records?
Ervin Cyr: Ervin Cyr. I live at 601 Troon Road here in Oxford.
Detective Magee: We understand you were giving Scott Bryant CPR when the officers arrived. Do you have some medical training?
Ervin Cyr: Yes. I'm a reconstructive surgeon in private practice. I did everything I could for Scott, but he was well beyond saving by the time I got to him.
Detective Magee: What is your connection to tonight's event?
Ervin Cyr: I'm a member of the Yoknapatawpha Players theater's board. We were at a dress rehearsal for a play that the troupe was going to stage this weekend. As you probably noticed when you came in, the look of this play is … unique.
Detective Beckwith: You could say that.
Ervin Cyr: The director, Anna Kessler, is experimenting with immersive theater. The idea is that the audience has an active role in the play itself, taking prompts from the actors. It's meant to engage the audience in a way you never could if they were passively watching from their seats.
Detective Magee: And so you were supposed to be immersed in some sort of war?
Ervin Cyr: No, a zombie apocalypse, I guess.
Detective Beckwith: Of course.
Ervin Cyr: It wouldn't have been my first choice either, but as a board member, I like to see the troupe pushed to innovate.
Detective Magee: To the point of carelessness?
Ervin Cyr: I don't believe for one second that the play called for a piece of the set to fall on a crew member.
Detective Magee: But you don't know for sure?
Ervin Cyr: The set fell into the backstage area. The whole point of immersion was to make you feel that you've entered into another world, not the backstage.
Detective Magee: And yet, the set did fall on someone.
Ervin Cyr: Likely accidentally.
Detective Beckwith: We'll let the medical examiner decide that. It doesn't look to me like the wall that fell is heavy enough to do that kind of damage to the man.
Ervin Cyr: Well, when we found Scott, the wall was on top of him. All I could see of him was a foot sticking out. It took four men to move the wall just to get to him.
Detective Beckwith: Do you know what he was doing back there?
Ervin Cyr: Scott was both the stage manager and performing as a zombie for the rehearsal. I don't know what specifically he was doing when the set wall fell.
Detective Beckwith: What can you tell us about his injuries?
Ervin Cyr: His wounds are partly real and partly fake. I have blood on my clothes from his costume and his body. The makeup was so good that even as a surgeon, I can't tell you which is which just by looking at it.
Detective Beckwith: Was he alive after you took the wall off him?
Ervin Cyr: He never had a pulse from the time we found him. He was dead.
Detective Magee: Who moved the wall off of Scott?
Ervin Cyr: Me, Woody Herron, Denis Goodman, and Neal Caine.
Detective Magee: Who found the body?
Ervin Cyr: Woody.
Detective Magee: Where were you when Scott's body was discovered?
Ervin Cyr: We were in the back end of the warehouse, talking about the performance, which had just finished.
Detective Magee: Which part is the back end of the warehouse?
Ervin Cyr: Well, we started on the end closest to the road. The back is the opposite end.
Detective Magee: Do you know which direction that is—north, south?
Ervin Cyr: Let me think. It would be the east side, I believe.
Detective Magee: Okay, so you were at the east end of the warehouse. Then what happened?
Ervin Cyr: At some point, Woody comes out from the backstage area, screaming for help, saying, "Scott's trapped under a piece of the set!"
Detective Beckwith: What did you do then?
Ervin Cyr: I snapped into doctor mode and immediately followed Woody into the backstage area to help.
Detective Beckwith: Besides the men you mentioned, who else came out to help?
Ervin Cyr: I can't say for sure. I was too focused on Scott and doing CPR to know.
Detective Magee: Did those four men stay at the warehouse?
Ervin Cyr: I believe so. While I was doing CPR, the police were taking the others back to the east lobby.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, let's walk through the night's events from the top. What was your role in the show today?
Ervin Cyr: Like all the board members, I was in the audience.
Detective Magee: Were all of the theater's board members in attendance at the rehearsal?
Ervin Cyr: Yes.
Detective Beckwith: Were all of the board members part of the audience?
Ervin Cyr: No. Martin Vargas is the actor's rep for the board, so he was an actor today.
Detective Magee: Could you describe where you were during the show?
Ervin Cyr: We started off from the lobby on the west side of the warehouse at the play's "muster point."
Detective Beckwith: Where the main doors are?
Ervin Cyr: Yes. It's the "front" of the theater.
Detective Magee: Who is "we"?
Ervin Cyr: The board members, except Martin. It was me, Neal Caine, Heath Rushing, and Cherie Atkinson.
Detective Magee: Okay. Are those individuals still here tonight?
Ervin Cyr: I never heard that they've left.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, so what happened next?
Ervin Cyr: We never were told what we were actually going to do in the play, so we were unprepared for what the troupe had in store for us. The setting for the play was an Army Logistics Support Area that was being enveloped by hungry zombies. Weston Naboa, one of the actors, was playing a soldier that rushed us four into the camp.
Detective Magee: Okay. Was Scott there when you entered the play area?
Ervin Cyr: No. I'd guess he was backstage at that point. He was playing a zombie role.
Detective Magee: All right, what happened then?
Ervin Cyr: Naboa briefed us on the zombie situation and gave us "orders" to split into two groups. Cherie and I were to go with Martin and another actor Kyler Birdsall. Both of them were playing soldier roles.
Detective Magee: Who was in the other group?
Ervin Cyr: Anna Kessler and Janet Weber were playing some sort of doctors. They took Heath and Neal with them. That's when zombies attacked Naboa's character and "killed" him.
Detective Beckwith: So your group was separated from the other group?
Ervin Cyr: Yes, we were supposed to get weapons from the armory to defend the base. As soon as we left the armory, zombies were everywhere.
Detective Magee: Could you see if Scott was any of the attacking zombies?
Ervin Cyr: No, everyone was wearing so much makeup, I didn't recognize any of the zombies.
Detective Beckwith: Where was the armory?
Ervin Cyr: It was on the … south side of the warehouse.
Detective Beckwith: Did the other group go to the south side too?
Ervin Cyr: No, I'm not sure where they went, but they weren't with us.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, go on.
Ervin Cyr: The zombies chased us to the east end of the warehouse into a maze of pallets and shelf units which ended in an evacuation point. Birdsall's character eventually ends the zombie threat there, and the play was over.
Detective Magee: So you never saw Scott at any point during the play?
Ervin Cyr: No. I never saw him at all today until I was picking up a wall off of him.
Detective Beckwith: How long was it before Woody alerted you that the wall had fallen on Scott?
Ervin Cyr: It was just minutes after the play ended.
Detective Magee: If you can remember, which cast and crew members were missing from the east end of the warehouse where you were when the play finished?
Ervin Cyr: Ah, Weston and Martin, most of the crew that was made up like zombies, Woody and Scott.
Detective Beckwith: Do you know where any of these people were at the end of the play?
Ervin Cyr: No. I'd guess they'd be either in the performance area of the theater or the backstage area since all of them were the main combatants in the big zombie battle of the play.
Detective Magee: Okay, Mr. Cyr. We're going to talk to the others now. I trust that you'll be available if we have more questions?
Ervin Cyr: Tonight?
Detective Beckwith: No, in the future.
Ervin Cyr: Anything you need, I will make myself available.
Interview ended – 10:02 p.m.