Floyd Collins Opens Thursday Night: the Third Theater Production Backed by the MCA Department

Photo by Elizabeth Winn

Photo by Elizabeth Winn

The Media, Culture and the Arts Department at the King’s College has spent the last four weeks preparing for their third annual Spring Musical, “Floyd Collins,” which is opening this Thursday night.

“I’m really excited that the MCA department is putting this on,” said senior Zeke Ward, playing Floyd Collins. “Having a department-wide support in the arts is really a game changer.”

Presenting the college’s students, faculty, and the general public with the musical, the King’s College MCA Department undertakes the task of producing a large production in a short span of time.Ward said the department has been able to match and surpass what a student organization could do on its own. They are providing students not only with hands-on experience in the theatre world, but also the equipment and the guidance that the students need to thrive.

Photo by Elizabeth Winn

Photo by Elizabeth Winn

Professor Pike and Dr. Bleattler, the leaders of this theatre initiative, have supplied students of The King’s College the opportunity to work with professionals in their own aspiring vocations.

“I had the incredible privilege to meet the original Sound Designer [Dan Shrier] for the show.” Tompkins said. “It was pretty intimidating talking with someone who is a four time Tony Nominee, has won several Drama Desk Awards, just countless notable productions that he’s done sound design for.”

Practicing, on average, 18 hours a week, the cast and crew are dedicated to turning the shocking story of “Floyd Collins” into art. Expecting the play’s original drummer and sound designer—Tom Partington and Dan Shrier—in the audience for Saturday’s show, Patterson Tompkins, sophomore and sound designer for the musical, expressed awe at the King’s College’s growing notoriety in this specific sphere.

“It is amazing that a school that is our size and a school that is literally working on its third production already gets this kind of street cred,” Tompkins said.

From the production side of the MCA department, the King’s College faces struggles unique to a small school in New York City.

“The down side,” Tompkins said, “is the fact that our theater is not on campus. I think that makes things a lot harder. We have to take [the gear] on the 2/3 with us, on our way up to Midtown.”

However, the size provides its own benefits as well.

“I like it here because it's super small” said Charles Soto, Assistant Stage Manager, “So that means you get a lot of attention. So like me, I’m meeting with professionals and specifically learning certain things in actual off Broadway Theatres and everything.”

Based on real people and true events, “Floyd Collins” transports the audience back in time, to the year of 1925. The story begins during one of cave-explorer Floyd Collins’ many expeditions. However, when Collins gets trapped inside the cave, the story takes a twisted turn.

“It’s interesting to see in the show what each character kind of puts their value and their trust in,” Irving said. “ I think it’s just a very interesting reflection on human nature.”

Floyd Collins will be performed Feb 8-10 at Salvation Army Theater on 315 W 47th St. New York, N.Y. 10036. Tickets can be purchased at floydcollinstkc.eventbrite.com/.