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Floyd Collins poster

Floyd Collins

Music & Lyrics by Adam Guettel
Book & Lyrics by Tina Landau
Directed by Peter Marston Sullivan

June 15 – July 15, 2012

presented at Theater Wit

In 1925, while chasing a dream of fame and fortune by turning a Kentucky cave into a tourist attraction, Floyd Collins himself became the attraction when he got trapped underground. Alone but for sporadic contact with the outside world, Floyd fought for his sanity and ultimately his life as the rescue effort above exploded into the first genuine media circus. Reporters and gawkers from across the country descended on the property, fueling the hysteria and manipulating the nation into holding its collective breath. This haunting musical — one of the most acclaimed in recent years — tells the transcendent tale of a true American dreamer.

BoHo’s production of Floyd Collins explores freedom across multiple realms, from Floyd’s quest for financial freedom that leads him into the cave, to the literal need to escape from a claustrophobic cave-in, and finally to the emotional and spiritual freedom Floyd discovers when the fear and isolation give way to inner reflection. At the heart of this story is the contrast between the cynicism in the media whirlwind above ground and the real emotions and family dynamic between Floyd and his family. In an age of constant news bombardment and media spin, Floyd Collins is a reminder of what truly matters when the rest of the world disappears.

Cast/MusiciansCrew
  • Nellie Collins: Sarah Bockel
  • Miss Jane: Christa Buck
  • Doyle: Nathan Carroll
  • Floyd Collins: Jim Deselm
  • Skeets Miller: Greg Foster
  • Homer Collins: Jon Harrison
  • Cliff Roney, Reporter: Benjamin Kirberger
  • Ed Bishop: Evan Tyrone Martin
  • Reporter, Dr. Hazlett: Tom McGunn
  • H.T. Carmichael: Steve O’Connell
  • Reporter, Frederick Jordan: Michael Potsic
  • Jewell Estes: Patrick Rooney
  • Lee Collins: Russell Alan Rowe
  • Bee Doyle: David Tibble

  • Conductor/Keyboard: Allison Hendrix
  • Percussion/Synthesizer/Harmonicas: Nicholas Davio
  • Guitar/Banjo: Jim Konsbruck, Dave Saenger
  • Violin: Kim Lawson
  • Music Direction: Alan Bukowiecki
  • Assoc. Music Direction: Allison Hendrix
  • Scenic & Lighting Design: Diane D. Fairchild
  • Costume Design: Kristen Ahern
  • Sound Design: Christopher Kris
  • Properties Design: Cassy Schillo
  • Stage Manager: Meg Love
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Reid Moffatt
  • Dramaturg: Ariel Trocino
  • Dialect Coach: Peter Robel
  • Assistant Director: Anna Hammonds
  • Production Manager: Morgan Maul-Smith
  • Producers: Peter Blair & Kaela Altman

Nominated for FIVE Jeff Awards!

  • Outstanding Music Direction: Alan Bukowiecki
  • Principle Actor (Musical): Jim DeSelm
  • Supporting Actor (Musical): Greg Foster
  • Supporting Actor (Musical): Jon Harrison
  • Sound Design: Christopher Kriz

Floyd Collins Videos


Floyd Collins Production Photos:

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Rave reviews for Floyd Collins:

It's a major event, an extremely well-cast small-scale staging sensitively directed by Peter Marston Sullivan... I can't imagine a better revival... [Music Director] Alan Bukowiecki has outdone himself. Not only is this a finely sung production, but the five-piece pit band is no less equal to the challenges of the score.
–Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

"Musically speaking, this is one of the best recent BoHo productions, thanks to the musical director Alan Bukowiecki"
–Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Utterly enthralling... The score is wonderfully rendered in almost conversational tones by an ensemble of authentic faces and fine voices. Jim DeSelm, handsome, graceful and expressive, easily embodies the quirky, visionary aspects of Floyd, as well as his sweetness, and he keeps you rooting for his salvation."
–Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"A musical and theatrical experience you are unlikely to repeat anytime soon, anywhere else... You owe it to yourself to see this 'Floyd Collins.' See it for Jim DeSelm’s gutsy and winning title performance, for the young actors surrounding him showing the world what they can do, and for the trip into your own mind that the show will show you. Your ear will be tickled, and your soul will ache."
–Paul W. Thomspon, Broadway World.com

"Perfectly cast and coached, the 14-member ensemble commit to every second, let alone minute, and make even the musical’s most grandiloquent moments into bedrock truth."
–Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Stage Style

"There’s a lot of life in this story... DeSelm's Collins is undeniably real, and even though most of his agony is implied rather than shown, it's impossible to doubt his dire circumstances"
–John Accrocco, New City

BoHo's Epic 'Floyd Collins' Is A Visceral Masterpiece... Director Peter Marston Sullivan has given us an epic and poignant 'Floyd Collins' that will surely be regarded as one of Boho's greatest achievements"
–Michael J. Roberts, Showbiz Chicago

"There’s much to admire in this must-see production."
–Chicago Theatre Addict