Victory Gardens Theater Access Project


The Access Project is a nationally recognized model outreach effort designed to involve people with disabilities in all aspects of theater, both on and off the stage. Originally started at Remains Theatre in 1992, it transferred to Victory Gardens in 1995. In 2008 Victory Gardens received the MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence and Innovation in Arts Access, and in 2009 we were named Most Accessible Theater by the members of Deaf Illinois.

Upcoming Events:

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

Saturday, May 7, 2016 | 7:30pm

Victory Gardens Theater and the Neo Futurists present the first accessible performance of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind this January. Too Much Light, which had its first performance on December 2, 1988, is now in its twenty-fifth year, making it the longest-running show in Chicago today. With its ever-changing “menu,” the production is an attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. The single unifying element of these plays is that they are performed from a perspective of absolute honesty.

  • Artist Development Workshops, which teach the art of playwriting and performance to individuals with and without disabilities.
  • Play Development Opportunities for original works dealing with disability issues or written by playwrights who have disabilities.
  • Crip Slam, a series of performances, readings, movies and other events that promote, explore and celebrate disability culture.

Throughout the year, the Victory Gardens Access Project designates certain performances as “Access Nights” where we offer additional accessibility services to our patrons. Read more about the services we offer below.

  • Accessible Seating: If you require wheelchair accessible and/or companion seating, or have any hearing, visual or other needs, please let us know how we may assist you with your ticket order when you contact us. If you have a service dog please let us know in advance so that we can make sure you and your canine companion have the best experience possible.
  • Assisted Listening Devices: In both of our performance spaces we provide assisted listening devices. In the Zacek McVay Theater we utilize the Sennheiser infra-red Personal Listening System. In the Richard Christiansen Theater we use the Listen FM Personal Listening System. The systems provide amplification on lightweight wireless headsets and features the ability to adjust for specific hearing needs. Please contact the House Manager to receive a headset. A form of identification is required as a deposit. This system is available free of charge.
  • Audio Description: This service allows blind and visually impaired patrons to hear a description of the visual elements taking place on stage. Listeners will hear a description of actions, body language, lights, costumes, scenery and other aspects of the production not conveyed by voices and sounds from the stage. This service is available for specific performances.
  • Touch Tours: Available one hour and a half before each Audio Described performance. Touch Tours are one hour artistic conversations and tactile explorations of costumes, props and set pieces for patrons who are blind or low vision. Please make reservations for the Touch Tour when you order your tickets.
  • Braille Programs: Are available at the Box Office. Subscribers may reserve these on their performance
    date by calling the Box Office.
  • Large Print Programs: Are available at the Box Office. Subscribers may reserve these on their performance date by calling the Box Office.
  • American Sign Language Interpretation: American Sign Language interpreters enable patrons who are deaf to perceive spoken theatrical content. Interpreting provided by Deaf Communication by Innovation Raymond Rodgers, Sign Master.
  • Word for Word Captioning: Victory Gardens offers word for word captioning for select performances. At captioned performances, electronic text is displayed on the side of the stage showing what the actors are saying and describes sound effects on stage.

Strawdog to Offer Fully Accessible Performance of FAIL/SAFE at Victory Gardens. Read More

The Unabridged Experience Services help disabled theater-goers get the full experience. Read More

Artful disabilities act Professor expands the perception of people with disabilities in arts and culture. Read More

Uber Partnership

Through our partnership with the transportation app Uber, Victory Gardens is now offering free rides to our patrons in need of assistance to and from the theater on all Access performance nights. Read More

Strawdog Theatre Company Partnership

Over the course of the 2015-2016 season, Strawdog will be co-presenting 4 productions with the Access Project in the Victory Gardens Rehearsal Room. These events are captioned and include audio description. Read More

2015-2016 Dates TBA

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