Flying Elephant Productions Announces Inaugural Season

A new company called Flying Elephant Productions, with Leo Schwartz as Executive Director and DC Cathro as Artistic Director, have announced its inaugural season, launching this winter with the world premiere of WE THE PEOPLE – SONGS OF THE RESISTANCE, a political song cycle about the 2016 election. Six actors play 55 characters in the musical, featuring a book by Sean Chandler and music and lyrics by Leo Schwartz, with direction by Derek Van Barham and music direction by Ty Miles.

Next summer, the company will present the Chicago premiere of DEFACING MICHAEL JACKSON by Aurin Squire, directed by Alexis Roston. Set in 1984, tensions arise when a white teen tries to join an all-black fan club dedicated to “the gloved one.”

Schwartz says “Flying Elephant Productions has two goals: to bring to the stage non-traditional voices and to promote those works of theatre to other venues around the country and in Canada. This season occurs during one of the most divisive periods in American history since the 1960s. The present occupant of the White House gives us trickle down chaos. Black American citizens are once again having to exert their rights, while their lives are being taken by this country’s institutional racism. WE THE PEOPLE gives us the absurdity of the political road we are on in this country and it extols us to get back on track. DEFACING MICHAEL JACKSON shows that our differences are what bring us together, if we want.”

The company will perform at Stage 773. For additional information, visit

Flying Elephant Productions’ Inaugural Season (from the press release):

January 26 – February 10, 2018
Book by Sean Chandler. Music and Lyrics by Leo Schwartz
Directed by Derek Van Barham
Music Direction by Ty Miles

The election of 2016: Disappointment, Chaos, Intrigue, Anger, Response! Starting at the party conventions and proceeding up to current events, this world premiere musical takes six actors through 55 characters in this new political musical song cycle.

July 26 – August 12, 2018
By Aurin Squire
Directed by Alexis Roston

Set among the swamps and canals of rural Florida, a motley group of African-American teenagers create their own Michael Jackson fan club in 1984. But when a white boy moves to the neighborhood and tries to join the club, all the rules of the community are challenged and changed. DEFACING MICHAEL JACKSON is a satire about the do’s and don’ts of Blackness, hero worship and American identity.

About author

Abigail Trabue

Abigail has worked as an actor/director in Chicago for over ten years, and along with husband Jason Epperson founded Lotus Theatricals in 2015, and PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City in 2016 (where she serves as Managing Editor of both publications). When not talking shop, Abigail is raising three padawans with Jason, drinking lots of coffee, converting school buses into RV's, and eating all the foods at Disney World. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue