In the wake of the killing of a University of Utah student, Odyssey Dance Theatre has pulled two segments from its on-campus performances of “Thriller.”
“We feel it incumbent upon us to remove two long-standing segments from our ‘Thriller’ performances at Kingsbury Hall for the remainder of this year’s run,” said Derryl Yeager, ODT’s founder and artistic director.
Thriller performances continue at Kingsbury through Tuesday, Oct. 30.
In one of the deleted segments, “The Sugarplums Finale,” the Sugar Plum Fairy is murdered by a masked killer. In the other, “The River of Blood Dance,” Irish dancers are targets in a shooting gallery.
“While these pieces were created years ago and have long held a special and humorous place in the show, we realize that what was once funny has lost its creative and comedic luster as societal and current events have changed the audience’s overall perception and appreciation,” Yeager said in a statement.
The shows also runs at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivins through Oct. 31; the program there remains unchanged.
“The shooting nearby Kingsbury Hall on the U of U Campus had an especially significant impact when our own audience and cast were placed in lockdown during the incident," Yeager said. "Because of the proximity of the shooting ... we felt it was incumbent upon us to respond and not portray things that would trigger those audience members attending a performance so close to the scene of the crime that is upon everyone’s minds. Other venues and productions of the show have not been affected.”