"Floyd Collins" : a haunting musical drama
April 6 - April 14, 2012
Based on a true story, with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, book and additional lyrics by Tina Landau. Directed by Allison Olivia Choat, musical direction by Dan Rodriguez, choreographed by Rachel Bertone.
On January 30, 1925, while trying to discover a new entrance to the system of underground caves that were a popular tourist attraction in Kentucky, Floyd Collins, a local caver, became trapped in a narrow crawlway 55 feet (17 m) below the surface. The reports on efforts to save Collins propelled his plight into a media sensation, with nationwide newspapers barely able to satisfy their readers’ hunger for the latest news on rescue attempts. Citizens remained glued to their home radios for updates.
Floyd Collins is the musical adaptation of this true tale. On a personal level, the play is a roller coaster ride of emotions, portraying a family in crisis and the faith (and sometimes humor) they need to get through it. But it is also an exposé on media exploitation. Floyd’s story and the efforts to save him were a media phenomenon of the time, among the first to sweep the nation — a nation all caught up in the modern technologies of the roaring twenties!
With music and lyrics by composer Adam Guettel (Tony award winner for The Light in the Piazza), and book and additional lyrics by Tina Landau, Floyd Collins premiered at the American Music Theater Festival, New York City, in 1994. It opened Off-Broadway at Playwright's Horizons, New York City, on February 9, 1996, directed by Tina Landau. The show won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and the 1995-1996 Obie Award for its score. The show then toured the United States and made its London debut at the Bridewell Theater in July 1999.