Director Spotlight // Founder & Artistic Director of Odyssey Dance Theatre Derryl Yeager
The 2018 award for Utah's 'Best of State' to the Odyssey Dance Theatre was their lucky thirteenth consecutive win. Parkites can experience this quality dance company when they bring their highly-anticipated, annual performance of Thriller to the Egyptian Theatre September 21 - October 7.
Thriller is the creation of Founder and Artistic Director of ODT, Derryl Yeager. A former principal dancer for Ballet West and veteran of Broadway, he wanted to create an original performance piece that could be their ‘Nutcracker’ so-to-speak. “I started off with the idea of doing a full length Dracula, but couldn't afford the massive sets and costumes it would require. We opted for a 'vignette' format and highlights of lots of different Halloween characters...thus Thriller was born.”
The ODT production was created in 1996, starting out with only 4 lightly attended performances. 22 years later there are over 40 often sold out shows in half a dozen Utah locations. Park City is first on their schedule this year. “We currently run two separate companies to make the show happen in all the Utah locations and we still have time slots we could fill if we could find a location.”
If you've seen a previous performance of Thriller, you haven't seen THIS particular show. According to Yeager, “Each year the show is different. Many of the original pieces are staples in the repertoire and will be the same, but there is always something new to enjoy.”
Rehearsal or ‘Thriller Boot Camp’ began on August 28. “We have all the new people come in early and learn tons of choreography in three days before we bring in the veterans.”
Odyssey Dance Theatre’s goals include bringing quality entertainment to the stage, providing employment for dancers and making dance more accessible to wider audiences. Thriller not only meets all three goals but is important to the lifeblood of the organization.
“Thriller has become the show that makes enough admissions to fund the rest of our season. In Park City, Thriller is a very up close and personal event with a small stage and intimate house...it's very enjoyable. Get your tickets early, because of limited seating (300) tickets go fast!”
Good advice. Beat the rush. Tickets on sale now at egyptiantheatrecompany.org.