Denis Goodman interview
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 – 11:50 p.m.
Denis Goodman is the resident playwright for the Yoknapatawpha Players.
He was transported from the scene to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department, where Detectives Magee and Beckwith talked to him.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Denis Goodman
Detective Beckwith: Mr. Goodman, thank you for your patience this evening.
Denis Goodman: My— uh, never mind. You're welcome.
Detective Magee: Never mind what, Mr. Goodman?
Denis Goodman: I started to say "my pleasure," but that's so completely … uh, inappropriate.
Detective Magee: Would you please state your name and address for the record.
Denis Goodman: Denis Owen Goodman. I live at 503 Brittany Drive, Apartment #23, Oxford.
Detective Magee: Thank you. This is Detective Beckwith, and I'm Detective Magee.
Denis Goodman: I'm sorry about "my pleasure." It's my go-to phrase when someone thanks me. It's not…I didn't mean anything by it. I'm so thrown by this whole situation. I'm stressed and I'm tired, and now with the whole Scott thing…
Detective Beckwith: We understand. We'll do our best to get you out of here as soon as possible. Mr. Goodman, what's your role in the production?
Denis Goodman: I'm the playwright.
Detective Beckwith: Were you also in the play?
Denis Goodman: No. No. God no. I could never be an actor. My angst happens privately. No audience.
Detective Magee: What time did you arrive at the warehouse today?
Denis Goodman: I got here at 5:30 p.m.
Detective Beckwith: What did you do after you arrived?
Denis Goodman: Avoided everyone. I stayed in my car until 5:50 p.m., then I went over and sat in the makeshift ticket booth we set up outside the entrance.
Detective Magee: Where were you during the rehearsal?
Denis Goodman: Everywhere, except inside the performance space where the play was happening.
Detective Magee: So you didn't watch the show?
Denis Goodman: No. I could never. It's too nerve-wracking for me. Plus, it's immersive so it's impossible to just observe. You end up getting in the way. At least, I do. According to Scott, anyway.
Detective Beckwith: Was there an issue between the two of you?
Denis Goodman: Show-wise, not really. Scott's a good stage manager. But I was close to his girlfriend, Ginny. She died about six weeks ago. It's been awkward between Scott and me since.
Detective Magee: Close to her how?
Denis Goodman: Close friends—only. But really close. And she committed suicide. It's horrible and sad. Ginny was the connection between Scott and me, so it was awkward.
Detective Beckwith: We're sorry for your loss. This must make the events of today even more difficult.
Denis Goodman: Thank you, detective. Yes, it does.
Detective Beckwith: During rehearsal, do you recall specifically where you were as the show went on?
Denis Goodman: Sure. There were no paying audience members, so the actors didn't stay backstage before the show. I hate that. I think it's bad luck to see actors before final dress or a performance. There's no door to close on the ticket booth, so I spun the chair around so I couldn't see into the lobby. I stayed there until the show started.
Detective Magee: And then where did you go?
Denis Goodman: Into the lobby. I paced around in there until West's character got attacked. Then I stepped outside.
Detective Magee: If you could give first and last names, that'd be a big help to us. Now, who is West?
Denis Goodman: Of course. Weston Naboa.
Detective Magee: Thank you. Any particular reason you stepped outside?
Denis Goodman: I could hear too much. There's lots of action and lots of screaming in agony. The board members, except for Martin Vargas, are unrehearsed non-actors. There is so much pressure on me and Anna to make this immersive idea work. Sorry. Anna Kessler. The rehearsal started. It was out of my hands. I needed some air.
Detective Magee: Did you leave the premises?
Denis Goodman: No. I alternated between pacing the lobby and pacing just outside the entrance. I was a complete wreck.
Detective Beckwith: Was anyone with you, or did you see anyone else during that time?
Denis Goodman: No. As far as I am aware, everyone was where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to do for the play.
Detective Magee: Did you happen to hear anything unusual during the rehearsal?
Denis Goodman: Hard to tell. I mean, I really was trying not to listen. After the show, there was some chatter about dropped and/or ad-libbed lines, but no one mentioned anything unusual happening. Until…you know…Woody Herron started shouting that Scott was hurt.
Detective Beckwith: Where were you at that time?
Denis Goodman: Near the evacuation point in the east lobby.
Detective Beckwith: What did you do when you heard Woody shouting?
Denis Goodman: A couple of us ran out to follow Woody backstage to where Scott was.
Detective Magee: Who else?
Denis Goodman: Erv Cyr and Neal Caine. Woody led us to where Scott was lying underneath a set wall.
Detective Magee: Where was that?
Denis Goodman: The backstage area by the mobile lab. The quarantine room.
Detective Magee: What happened then?
Denis Goodman: The four of us lifted the wall off of Scott. He was face down, so Erv had us roll him over. Erv checked for Scott's pulse and said, "Call 9-1-1." Neal called. Erv did CPR. I just stood there waiting to see if I could help somehow until I was escorted back to the east lobby by a police officer.
Detective Beckwith: All right, I think that's all the questions we have for now. We'll be in touch if we need to follow up with anything. Would that be okay with you?
Denis Goodman: Yes. Yes, of course.
Interview ended – 12:09 a.m.