NEW YORK CITY: The Bechdel Project has selected Jeanne Dorsey to receive the inaugural Room of One’s Own (ROO) Writer’s Residency. Named after the 1929 book by Virginia Woolf, the ROO Residency was created for feminist writers of any intersection looking to develop a new work based on women from history. Dorsey was selected from over 100 applicants from around the world to fully develop her new play The Kit: Made by Martha.
A 2021 Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Commission, the play is inspired by Martha Goddard, whose sexual assault evidence collection kit revolutionized how cases against sexual assault perpetrators were built and standardized the compassionate treatment of rape victims without revictimizing them.
“We’re excited to work with Jeanne because we believe The Kit can do more than teach about a woman who has impacted the lives of millions,” said co-creative director Jens Rasmussen in a statement. “We believe it has the power to change the way people think.”
The year-long residency will feature writing retreats in Berlin, Germany, and Brooklyn, and unlimited access to Bechdel Project’s studios and staff to help Dorsey develop her new play, both in collaboration with other artists and in solitude.
Said Dorsey in a statement, “Artistic guidance, feedback, production assistance, moral support, studio space to both write and hear my work—these are all the things that a playwright dreams about while working in isolation on a new play. This is what the ROO Residency is providing.”
Jeanne Dorsey is a New York-based writer of plays, screenplays, teleplays, and essays. Her work has been published by Seal Press, Smith and Krauss, Heinemann Press, and Applause Books and produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Georges, Soho Playhouse, and others. She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Dramatists Guild, Honor Roll, and is a New Georges Affiliated Artist.
The Bechdel Project is a nonprofit arts organization with studio spaces in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Dedicated to telling stories onstage and on screen that pass the Bechdel Test (from Alison Bechdel’s comic strip The Rule from Dykes to Watch Out For), the project advocates for and develops new works that tell the stories of multifaceted women that are not just “in relation to men.” As of 2019, the Bechdel Project had a budget of $2,127.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!