Victory Gardens welcomes Small Fish Radio Theatre for a performance of Mercury Considers the Last Layer as part of VG’s acclaimed Access Program Sunday, August 3, 2014

mercury-webVictory Gardens Theater hosts Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium for a one-night-only performance of the radio adaptation of Mercury Considers the Last Layer, written and directed by Trina Kakacek. Mercury Considers the Last Layer is a melodramatic romp, set in the dualistic world of burlesque, which follows the age-old quest of finding one’s heart and one’s self. Mercury was developed in the Victory Gardens Access Project Artist Development Workshop, with the lead male role written for actor, writer and Thespinariam Michael Herzovi. This special performance, which includes open captioning and American Sign Language interpretation, is meant for a mature audience. The performance is Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 7:30PM in the Zacek-McVay Theater at the Victory Gardens Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park.

The cast of Mercury Considers the Last Layer includes Small Fish Radio Thespinarians Cat Dean, Michael Herzovi, MJ Kelly and Joy Thorbjornsen-Coates with guest artists Charlotte Mae Ellison and Mark Kater. The creative team includes Trina Kakacek and MJ Kelly (sound design) and Anthony Sanders (musical direction).

“The Access Project has remained a unique program for people with disabilities because in addition to the services we provide, we are able to produce work like Mercury,” says Victory Gardens Artistic Program Manager Monty Cole. “Victory Gardens is so thrilled to have a piece of work that was developed in our Artist Development Workshop showcased on our largest stage.”

Mercury writer and director Trina Kakacek adds, “The bottom line is that the Access Project is this play’s home. It’s where I went from being a fiction writer to being a playwright. I went in there a million years ago with my first play, which looked more like a book that happened to have half the dialogue in it. I learned to switch from writing novels to writing plays there at the Access Project.”

About the Access Project
Now in its 21st year, 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. 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.

Tickets to Mercury Considers the Last Layer are $10. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000 (tty: 773.871.0682), email, or visit

Mercury Considers the Last Layer is an Access Performance and will feature audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision, and sign language interpretation for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Visit and click on “Plan Your Visit” for information about other Access services including large print and Braille programs, assisted listening devices, and artist development workshops.

About Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium
Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium produces portable theatre for the ear. Every few months we put out a call for submissions based on a theme and record an old time style radio show, complete with live sound effects, in front of a live audience. Then we offer the podcast for free on iTunes and our website. To date Small Fish Radio Theatre has featured the work of more than 40 artists and has followers worldwide. We’ve recorded live at Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Fringe, Victory Gardens Theater and we are featured annually on Atlanta Fringe Audio. For more information about Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium, visit

About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Christopher Mannelli, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. With Victory Gardens’ first new Artistic Director in 34 years, the company remains committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, continuing the vision set forth by Dennis Zacek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Zacek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

In 2012, Victory Gardens Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble Playwrights Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, Follow up on Facebook at and Twitter @VictoryGardens.

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Alphawood Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Leo S. Guthman Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The REAM Foundation, and the Leo S. Guthman Fund. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, Berghoff Catering, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, a City Arts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Conant Family Foundation, The Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, James S. Kemper Foundation, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Seabury Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.