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Who is Floyd Collins, and why is he in a cave?

Based on a true American legend.

In an age where media influences everyday lives, the University of Utah Department of Theatre is bringing the media spectacle musical Floyd Collins to the Babcock Theatre Feb. 14 – Mar. 1, 2020 which is based on a true American legend and one of the most sensationalized news events from the early 1900s.

Set in rural Kentucky in 1925, Floyd Collins is an American folk-style musical following the story of a young cave explorer searching for fame and fortune underground. When a cave-in leaves him trapped 55 feet below the earth’s surface, the media circus above ground makes his personal tragedy a national spectacle.

Based on a true story, Tina Landau and Adam Guettel’s award-winning musical is an examination of the media’s reaction to the events in the cave, the various attempts to rescue Collins, and a moving insight into a family’s suffering.

The show is directed by Associate Professor Denny Berry, Head of the U’s Musical Theatre Program, and will be the fifth show in the university’s 2019-2020 theatre season.

“This play is hard material to deliver and hard material for an audience to receive,” said Berry, who believes the highlight of this production comes from the ability of her students to create the world where this heart-wrenching tale unfolds. “These young artists have proven themselves capable of this difficult music and storytelling. As a professional myself, this makes me very proud of their work and their future possibility.”

Floyd Collins will run Feb. 14 – Mar. 1 in the Babcock Theatre, with evening performances on Feb. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 and matinees on Feb. 16, 22, 23, 29 and Mar. 1.  The matinee on Feb. 22 will feature ASL interpretation. University of Utah students get in free with UCard thanks to the U’s Arts Pass program, and all other students with valid student ID are $8.50. Tickets can be obtained by calling 801-581-7100, online at or at the Performing Arts Box Office, located at Kingsbury Hall.