Floyd Collins


Writers: Tina Landau Adam Guettel


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Historical/Biographical
Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
january 30- february 16, 1925, bee doyle’s farm in barren county, ky, including sand cave where floyd gets trapped
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
college, professional companies, religious groups, mostly male ensembles, shakespeare companies
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult, mature adult characters


In the winter of 1925 in Cave City, Kentucky, every man dreams of finding the biggest, most beautiful cave in the region and turning it into a spectacular tourist attraction. But, no one dreams quite so big as brave and daring Floyd Collins. Despite his poor luck as a caver, Floyd is certain he’s bound for greatness, and on January 30, he ventures into the as yet unexplored Sand Cave to “find his fortune underground.” His hopes are quickly challenged when a rock lodges his leg in a crevice on the way out of what he believes is the grandest cavern ever seen. When his brother Homer and the local cavers’ attempts to free him fail, Floyd’s rescue becomes a national effort and sparks one of the biggest news sensations in the years between the world wars. Over the course of several weeks, the Collins family’s faith is heavily tested, while floods of reporters, movie crews and sightseers come to behold the dramatic scene. Tragically, a botched attempt to create a shaft to Floyd’s location causes a cave in, completely cutting him off from the outside world. When they finally reach him after seventeen days, he has already died of exposure and starvation. Influenced by Bluegrass and Americana, Adam Guettel’s stunning score beautifully illuminates this story of spirituality, hope and one man’s quest for glory.

Lead Characters

Floyd Collins guide sections