The titular Floyd Collins, exploring Kentucky’s Sand Cave, falls through a tight passageway and becomes trapped underground. His family and his fellow cavers try to free him, and a media circus is whipped up around his plight.
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MUSIC AND LYRICS BY ADAM GUETTEL
BOOK AND ADDITIONAL LYRICS BY TINA LANDAU
DIRECTED BY KYLE A. THOMAS
MUSIC DIRECTION BY JUSTIN M. BRAUER
THE CELEBRATION COMPANY AT THE STATION THEATRE
BUZZ Magazine interview with director Kyle A. Thomas
Smile Politely interview with director Kyle A. Thomas
WCIA3 ciLiving story featuring music director Justin M. Brauer, director Kyle A. Thomas, and Andy Hudson (Floyd)
Director's Note by Kyle A. Thomas
Floyd Collins was pronounced dead on February 13, 1925. The victim of a caving accident, the effort to rescue him from his eventual grave, several hundred feet below the Earth, was the biggest news story of the twentieth century since the sinking of the Titanic. For the first time in American history, the intersections of radio, print journalism, easy access to transportation, and the potential to make a quick buck resulted in a rescue effort mired by avarice and individual hubris. At the center of it all, and unable to experience first-hand the circus that had sprung up around his plight, was Floyd Collins – a simple man from rural Kentucky who was trapped by his dream to find that one special cave that would bring him the glory he had been searching for.
Ninety years after his death, we celebrate Floyd’s dream. For us, Floyd Collins represents the pitfalls of the American Dream and the marginalization of those who follow their own personal dreams despite the dangers and pressures to do otherwise. We recognize the speed at which the world changes and the ways in which we are changed by a world that looks to everything and everyone as a means to profit. We are cautioned by individuals like Homer and Lee Collins, each seeking, on their own terms, the promise of stability in an unstable world. We admire a woman like Nellie Collins who, like her brother, understands the power of a dream and the personal necessity in following it, even if it means being labeled a pariah. The story of Floyd Collins is still the story of America: a dream, a danger, a direction that often winds down deeper than we ever expected. At the end of the path is the glory we all hope will be waiting for us, that purpose which reveals to us what we were put on Earth to do.