Floyd Collins Debuts Thursday Night at Theater 315

 Photo by Kirstyn Hippe

Photo by Kirstyn Hippe

“All of us is a bit touched if you look close.”

Thursday night was the opening of the MCA Department's “Floyd Collins,” the true story of a Kentucky cave diver who made headlines across the United States in 1925 after he gets stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Set in the rural town of “Cave City” on the cusp of the Great Depression, Collins, who is played by Brittin “Zeke” Ward, descends into a small sand cave, only to find a large chamber that he dreams of turning into a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, Collins is trapped in a cave-in. His misfortune earns him the fame he always dreamed of, as above ground, everyone from fellow townsfolk to bigshot, New York movie directors try and make a quick buck off of his story. Meanwhile, Collins wonders if he was always destined to perish in the cave.

After testifying his fears to journalist Skeets Miller, who is played by Jordan Marshall, Collins and Miller enjoy an intimate moment of laughter, a moment that came almost naturally to both actors as the stage lights focused on their faces and the nearly packed theater leaned forward, anticipating the play’s next move.

The intimate moments wouldn’t last, as the audience was dramatically drawn back into the play’s conflict as Floyd struggles with his entrapment, and the town struggles with their faith in God freeing Collins, or attempting to free him with their own hands.

 Photo by Kirstyn Hippe

Photo by Kirstyn Hippe

Students at King’s connect to many of the themes of “Floyd Collins,” as they often find themselves wrestling with their faith in many of the same ways that Collins and the residents of Cave City have done throughout the three-hour play.

Musical director and King's professor Virginia Pike, with the help of a five-piece band, were instrumental in transforming the intimate Theater 315 on West 47th Street into a literal cave of wonderment.

Directed by Misti B. Wells, the play is paced slowly, but ends magnificently. With themes of adventure, fate and faith, accompanied by outstanding performances all around and a refreshingly country tone, “Floyd Collins” makes for a wonderful weekend plan—whether you want to support fellow classmates or just want to hear a good story.