BECHDEL PROJECT & EST
THE KIT: MADE BY MARTHA
Part of the First Light Festival
SM: Kyra Bowie* ASM:Violet Woundy
*appearing courtesy of Actor's Equity Association
The Kit: Made by Martha was commissioned and developed with support from The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project and BECHDEL PROJECT's year-long ROO Residency.
Meet the Company
About The Play
Commissioned by the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, and developed with support from Bechdel Project’s year-long ROO Residency, The Kit: Made by Martha explores the life and work of Martha Goddard, inventor of the first standardized rape kit.
While working a crisis hotline for runaway teenage girls in 1972 Chicago, Goddard ponders how rape could be investigated as an actual crime rather than a made-up story. At a time when sexual violence in America is rarely prosecuted, her innovative thinking sets her on a path to create a powerful scientific procedure that could transform criminal forensics and bring justice to countless victims of sexual assault.
Dorsey's play deftly weaves Goddard's obsession with crafting miniatures (like those Goddard saw at the Chicago Art Institute) and her journey through the gritty world of sex crimes, the Chicago PD, a surprising alliance with Hugh Hefner's Playboy Foundation, and her own rape later in life which she ironically never reported.
The Kit: Made by Martha is a powerful reminder that even when we are flawed and seemingly unremarkable, we can still change the world.
A Note From The Playwright, Jeanne Dorsey
The Playwright would like to thank:
- Director, Jackson Gay and this awesome cast: Janice Amaya, Curran Connor, Desi Domo, Katie Fabel, Deborah Hedwall, Lou Liberatore, Arroyo Monfiletto, and Shawn Randall
- Mary Dreiser, Cynthia Gehry, Scott Goddard, Christy Hefner, Pagan Kennedy, Catherine Ott, and Margaret Pokorney.
- Physicians Keesandra Agenor, Brigitte Alexander, Moira McCarty, and Mary Ryan.
- The Bechdel Project, Ensemble Studio Theatre, EST Playwrights Unit, Marble House, Monson Arts, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
- Linsay Firman and Graeme Gillis.
Almost a year ago to the date, Maria Aparo and Jens Rasmussen birthed baby Luca. They have also been mid-wives in the birth of The Kit: Made by Martha. Thank you for selecting me as the inaugural Bechdel Project ROO Resident. Your encouragement and belief in me and this project has been immeasurable.
About Bechdel Project and the ROO
BECHDEL PROJECT (Maria Aparo, Lucy Flournoy, & Jens Rasmussen, Co-Creative Directors) is a non-profit arts incubator dedicated to feminist storytelling. Because the stories we tell don't just reflect our culture, they shape it. Programs include script Development through their ROO Residency and FIFE Fellowships, Education offerings of their “life-changing” workshops and residencies for universities across the country, and Advocacy that supports the anti-sexism work of other organizations through various partnerships and Bechdel Project’s free community space program.
The Room of One's Own (ROO) Writer's Residency - takes its name both from the space it provides for the resident artist and the 1929 book by Virginia Woolf.
In "A Room of One's Own" Woolf wrote, “fictitious women, are too simple — contrary to the living, breathing, complex women of real life, (they) are almost always depicted only in their relation to men.”
The one-year residency supports the creation of new work for the stage or screen by feminist writers (of any intersection) who are creating new work that is in line with the Bechdel Project mission.
The residency is largely directed by the writer themselves, and provides access to the spaces in Brooklyn and Berlin for writing, research, workshops, and readings as well as the Bechdel Project staff who provide logistical, dramaturgical, and producorial support.
About The Ensemble Studio Theatre & The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Ensemble Studio Theatre (Estefanía Fadul & Graeme Gillis, Co-Artistic Directors) is a not-for-profit theatre focused on developing and producing original, provocative, and authentic new plays to engage and challenge our audiences. Founded in 1968 by Curt Dempster, EST has grown to a dynamic community of over 650 artists and has a prolific and energetic history of discovering and nurturing new voices and supporting artists throughout their creative lives. EST is committed to collaborative processes and is dedicated to inclusion across all aspects of identity and perspective by acknowledging and working to end systemic marginalization and oppression at all levels of the organization.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director) is a New York-based philanthropic organization that makes grants for research and education in science, technology, and economics. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, aims to integrate the two cultures of science and the humanities by supporting an array of original works such as books, radio, television, film, theater, and new media. In addition to EST’s flagship initiative, Sloan’s theater program supports the Manhattan Theatre Club, the National Theatre in England, and L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity, an ongoing series of the best science-themed radio plays. For more information visit sloan.org or follow @SloanPublic on Twitter or Facebook.
The EST/Sloan Project (Graeme Gillis, Program Director; Linsay Firman, Associate Director), a pioneering collaboration between the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is designed to stimulate artists to create credible and compelling new theatrical works that explore the worlds of science, technology, and economics and to challenge existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in popular culture. Since its inception in 1998, the EST/Sloan Project has commissioned, developed, and produced over 350 staged plays involving over 1,000 playwrights, actors, choreographers, composers, and theatre companies nationwide.