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  • Floyd Collins

    Floyd Collins.

  • Newspaper Clipping featuring Floyd Collins

    Newspaper Clipping featuring Floyd Collins.

  • Brendan Lowry as Floyd Collins

    Brendan Lowry as Floyd Collins.

Floyd Collins explores themes of perseverance and hope

On February 13, 1925, Kentucky cave explorer Floyd Collins died in Sand Cave after having been trapped in a narrow crawlway for fourteen days. Efforts to free him had been unsuccessful and the attempt became one of America's first media sensations and one of the first major news stories to break on broadcast radio. His tragic, yet inspiring story is the subject of CMU Theatre’s next play, Floyd Collins, presenting March 8-18 in the intimate Mesa Experimental Theatre.

Floyd Collins is a musical drama written by Tina Landau and composed by Adam Guettel and explores themes of perseverance, hope and the power of community. The musical is known for its hauntingly beautiful score based in bluegrass, Americana and avant garde musical styles, and for its message of determination in the face of adversity.

According to director Mo LaMée, the play is “a story of the human spirit. Its themes are as relevant today as they ever have been. It’s very meaningful to get to explore the tale of an unwavering community rallying around this man to the bitter end.”

Floyd Collins stars music theatre major Brendan Lowry as the title character. Lowry was recently seen as Sky Masterson in the fall production of Guys and Dolls and played major roles during the 2021-22 season in Godspell and The SpongeBob Musical. He says he has loved the process of learning about the real person that Floyd Collins was and the stories of those in his life.

“I’ve love the collaborative process creating this show has been,” Lowry said. “I feel very close to everyone in this show, both onstage and off, and feel how we all believe in this story and how touching and important it is.”

Floyd Collins is an unforgettable theatrical experience and CMU’s production will draw audiences into the intimacy of the story in the Mesa Experimental Theatre through innovative set and projection design. Lovers of great storytelling and anyone looking for a powerful and uplifting experience will find something to connect to in this production.

“In a world where cynicism often reigns,” said LaMée, “Floyd Collins is a celebration of the human experience and a powerful reminder of what it truly means to be alive. We hope to inspire audiences with this timeless story.”

Floyd Collins will run March 8-18 in the Moss Performing Arts Center Mesa Experimental Theatre. Tickets are available at


Written by Laura Bradley