The Kit:

Made by Martha


We’re delighted that you’re here to support The Kit: Made by Martha.

If you attended the work-in-progress reading presented by the Bechdel Project in association with Ensemble Studio Theatre’s First Light Festival of Sloan commissioned plays, then you know that you’re supporting an important play.

If you missed the reading, here’s a bit about the play:

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 teens in 1972 Chicago, Goddard pondered the question of how rape could be investigated as a real crime rather than a made-up story. At a time when sexual violence in America was rarely prosecuted, her innovative thinking set her on a path to create a powerful scientific procedure that would transform criminal forensics and bring justice to countless victims of sexual assault.

The play begins in 2010, with an aging, alcoholic Martha living in reduced circumstances, and moves back and forth in time. The story weaves Goddard’s obsession with crafting miniatures (like those she saw at the Chicago Art Institute) and her journey through the gritty world of sex crimes, the Chicago PD and a surprising alliance with Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Foundation. The play uses a framework in which Goddard and Little M, a tiny figure, who inhabits one of Goddard’s miniature rooms, are in dialogue. These dialogues will be highlighted via video projection. While the rape kit becomes a powerful tool in the courtroom, Goddard is erased from its history and her personal narrative darkens due to her own rape which, ironically, she never reports. Her dialogues with Little M give voice to her interior life as well as to survivors of sexual assault who, because of being doubted, are made to feel tiny.

Why your donation is so important:

Martha Goddard was a seemingly ordinary woman who did everything she could to make our world a better and safer place. Her story matters. 

Milestones in the play’s journey:

Note: Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The donation amounts listed are suggestions. Be it $25 dollars or $25,000 dollars, you’re an angel and we welcome your donation. Thank you!