Odyssey Dance Theatre declines to discuss Park City zombie case
An official with Odyssey Dance Theatre on Monday declined to discuss in any detail the recent confrontation along Main Street that involved members of the dance company’s production of “Thriller” at the Egyptian Theatre and a family that was walking by the Main Street venue.
Derryl Yeager, the founder and artistic director of Odyssey Dance Theatre, provided a prepared statement that offered limited information about the confrontation.
“We are aware of an incident. It is unfortunate, and we are sorry that it occurred. We don’t know the facts or the details of the case but, since it is a criminal matter being taken before the court, we don’t want to speculate and potentially undermine the process. However, we have full faith that the criminal process will take its course, and justice will be done.” Yeager said in the prepared statement.
He offered an additional statement later: “Our policy was and has been this, that the Zombies can circulate amongst the patrons to entertain them and if the presence is not welcomed, then the Zombies withdraw.”
The director of the Egyptian Theatre, Randy Barton, was out of town on the day of the confrontation and declined to comment about the case.
The statement did not provide new details about an incident that has received widespread publicity recently. The case was reported at about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22. The Park City Police Department arrested Drew Hyde, a man from Henderson, Nevada, and the Summit County Attorney’s Office later charged him with five counts of child abuse, each a class A misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $2,500 fine upon conviction.
Hyde is scheduled to appear in 3rd District Court at Silver Summit on Nov. 26.
The prosecutors say Hyde assaulted five teen girls, including punching two of them and pushing three down a flight of stairs. The teens were dressed as zombies as part of the marketing for the “Thriller” production. Hyde has indicated his family was confronted by what he describes as a mob of up to 15 people in zombie costumes and makeup. The people dressed as zombies aggressively approached the family, Hyde has stated, describing that they were attempting to “scare and intimidate” the family. He has stated the family was “ambushed” and has said he was acting in self-defense and in defense of his family.
The case occurred along a street that can sometimes become uproarious and occasionally witnesses unusual marketing campaigns, particularly during the annual Sundance Film Festival in January as filmmakers attempt to publicize their works. The Park City Police Department is occasionally summoned to address aggressive marketing.
It is highly unusual, though, for a show at the not-for-profit Egyptian Theatre to be involved in such a case. It is also highly unusual for a case to end in a confrontation like the one in September involving Hyde and the teens with the “Thriller” performance.
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