The Scarlet "S"

74 3Arts supporters
$5,000 raised of $3,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on March 28, 2015
    • 167% contributed

The Scarlet “S” is an original, ensemble-devised play and extended community project that uses theatre arts to address the prevalence of sexual violence in our society, and to eliminate notions that this violence is an acceptable or “normal” part of sex, youth culture, or our lives. The story is familiar: it’s an epidemic spread across college campuses, news outlets, and Facebook feeds. As artists and activists, we aim to support the survivors of assault, examine the larger culture that perpetuates violence, and increase empathy in our community for all men and women adversely impacted by systems of silence and shame. Through our grassroots work, we have collected survivor stories, conducted thorough research of facts, laws, and media frenzies, developed a script, and presented a workshop performance last fall with help from a DCASE grant. Now, we are ready to turn The Scarlet “S” (TSS) into a full-length production that will premiere at Free Street Theater at the close of April 2015. This will entail adding professional theatrical and design elements, marketing and other outreach costs, none of which will be possible without the help of this 3AP campaign and friends like you. We feel strongly that elevating this project to a larger scale and platform will help us make change in our communities by cultivating a sense of collective accountability and immediacy. Please help us make this project a reality, and our world a safer and more consensual place for all of us. 

About This Project

Conceived in 2014 by theatre artist and sexuality educator Alyssa Vera Ramos (TSS director) and mental health professional Cathy Muskett (TSS head writer), The Scarlet “S” project investigates the harmful “rules” at play in society around gender, consent and accountability, all of which inevitably enforce a culture that condones sexual violence, in which many are more likely to blame and shame a survivor than to offer a hand or voice in support.

For us, theatre can be a way to build empathy and incite dialogue. It puts a face to this epidemic through story, movement, humor, and beauty. We intend to make a work of art that draws us in, rather than pushes us away. As part of the creative process of The Scarlet “S”, we host events entitled the #WHATNOWSeries, which brings community together for dialogues around current issues, our own relationships, and what we can do NOW to make change. This spring, as we further develop our play’s script, we are also hosting workshops with young people across the city and conducting personal interviews with survivors of sexual assault. We have also used social media campaigns and personalized drink coasters in Chicago bars to address issues of consent and “slut-shaming.”

The nature of theatre is crucially collaborative, thriving on varied passions in one room.  The Scarlet “S” will create a safe space, in rehearsals and performances, for audiences to explore these complicated, emotional topics together, always keeping pleasure, laughter, and open dialogue at the forefront.

The world premiere production of The Scarlet “S” will take place at Free Street Theatre in April 2015 during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We are raising funds to cover costumes, sound and lighting, and video projections that will add an important visual element plus provide facts that contextualize the issue. We are also planning marketing and outreach efforts that will include a CTA campaign that encourages people to stand up as allies in situations that may be unconsensual or unsafe.

We thank you for your interest from the bottom of our hearts, and we hope you will join us in support for this project during the run of The Scarlet “S” in April through May, 2015.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10
    Thank you shout-out on "The Scarlet 'S'” Facebook page and Twitter. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $25
    Personalized “thank you” video from "The Scarlet 'S'” artists via social media, and email including links to the articles we’re reading that week for the play development. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Exclusive invitation to a rehearsal of "The Scarlet 'S'” ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75
    2 tickets to the run of "The Scarlet 'S'” at Free Street Theater, including VIP reception. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    A print of our CTA campaign art, signed by the artist, writer and director. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $200
    A special short performance piece devised by "The Scarlet 'S'” artists, drawn from a current event, question, or story of YOUR choice: filmed, publicly shared, and dedicated to you – with a chance to be included in the premiere! ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Alyssa Vera Ramos

Alyssa Vera Ramos is a theater maker and teaching artist in Chicago with an emphasis on social practice. She is devoted to feminist, sexuality education, and anti-sexual violence work. In addition to The Scarlet “S", her Director and Lead Developer …

View Alyssa Vera Ramos's profile
  • Update 1: Thank you & SPECIAL Valentine's Day Promotion - spread the word & love!
    Posted on February 13, 2015


    Thank you SO much to all who have donated since our campaign launched on the 11th! We absolutely could not do this project without you.

    Please spread the word and spread the love about our SPECIAL VALENTINE'S PROMOTION!

    Anyone who donates (ANY amount!) before 12 midnight on February 14 will receive a love poem dedicated to them, penned by THE SCARLET 'S' head writer Cathy Muskett! (She can also write one for your sweetie, Cyrano-style -- or even for your cat! Just let us know via

    An example:

    Have you met the lovely Serena P?
    Never a lovelier lady you’ll see!
    A talented girl from New York City,
    She’s the best person to sing you a ditty!
    She loves music and theatre productions
    To her singers, she gives the best instructions
    With a big smile and a beautiful voice
    In a friend, there is no better choice!

    Silly and full of heart. :) Thank you again for your interest and your contribution!


    Alyssa & Cathy

    Update 2: We reached our $3,000 milestone!!! THANK you so much!
    Posted on February 22, 2015


    We are thrilled to announce that we reached our $3,000 3AP grant goal, and all of the funds you've helped raise are now guaranteed to go directly to The Scarlet 'S'! THANK YOU! This means more to us than we can say!

    Now, we need your help more than ever. We are fast-tracking toward our stretch goal of $4,500. We must raise this money in order to launch a full-scale Chicago Transit (CTA) campaign on the Red Line this April, which will help encourage people to act as allies and intervene in potentially unconsensual and dangerous situations -- not to mention advertise our production! :)

    Can you share this fundraising site?

    The CTA campaign will reach 5 MILLION Chicagoans, but it's going to cost an additional $1500 as a stretch goal to the grant. If your friends donate right here, those donations are tax deductible!

    Thank you again for your support - we absolutely could not do this without you.

    Update 3: 20 days and just over $700 to go!!
    Posted on March 08, 2015


    Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our 3AP Campaign thus far! We are excited to share that we have just over $700 to raise to meet our stretch goal -- and 20 DAYS TO GO!!

    Please tell your friends!!

    Every bit counts, is tax-deductible, and goes toward helping us create a safer, more consensual world for all of us.

    In the meantime, be sure to check out (and share!) our new promo video -  - made by the inimitable Nic Park!

    Update 4: OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE - We reached our stretch goal because of YOU!
    Posted on March 24, 2015


    We are incredibly excited to announce that we've reached our stretch goal - and we can't thank YOU enough!! Thank you to everyone who made this possible. We could not thrive without your support - we appreciate you.

    Our 3AP campaign is still open through Saturday May 28 at midnight. If your friends choose to contribute, their donation will be truly valued as well - and will go toward compensating Chicago artists and activists, and toward making art we hope will change the world.

    If you're in Chicago, we also hope you'll come CELEBRATE with us 8PM Saturday, April 4 at The Frontier/Jackalope Theatre for Yes/No/Maybe: A Consensual Cabaret - please visit for more details.

    Again, our DEEPEST gratitude to our community for helping us reach our goal! We can't wait to make this play for you.


    With love, Alyssa, Cathy, and the entire SCARLET "S" team

    Update 5: "I Am The Rat" World Premiere THIS THURSDAY!
    Posted on April 27, 2015


    The Scarlet S Project

    would like to cordially invite you,

    to the opening night,

    world premier,


    I Am The Rat



    Free Street Theatre

    April 30, 2015



    Your contribution to The Scarlet S

    is much appreciated; and as a token of that appreciation,

    this evening will be free of charge.



    We also hope you can join us for a post show reception,

    at Motts St Tapas Restaurant.

    Enjoy FREE tapas and

    mingle The Scarlet S team members,

    and the I Am The Rat performers.


    Thank you for all of your support, and we hope to see you this Thursday!


    ~ The Scarlet S Project ~



    Special thanks to:


    on streets and on stages since 1969


    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Ricky Figueroa

    • Lindsey Dorcus

    • Victoria Golden

    • Mike Gajewsky

    • Mariana Green

    • Alex Miller

    • Veronica Bierbaum

    • Jennifer Kotting

    • Nikki Zaleski

    • Laura Passin

    • Serena Pomerantz

    • Amalia Mathewson

    • David Pintor

    • Tovah Salcedo

    • Maria Vera

    • William Green

    • Danielle Davis

    • Teo mungaray

    • Aliza Fagan

    • pam muskett

    • Enilda Vera

    • Vijay Bangalore

    • Carol Spielman

    • Joe Zarrow

    • Lauren Sale

    • Abby Zan

    • Elaine Harris

    • Marisel Vera

    • carolyn quattrocki

    • Christina Lepri

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Zach Garcia

    • Sindy Castro

    • Ann Zavitz

    • Mara O'Day

    • Ellen Rogers

    • Shannon Oliver-O'Neil

    • Rachel Greene

    • Lisa O'Hearn

    • Felix Mantilla

    • Jeff Scott

    • Amanda Acevedo

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • L Pace Green

    • Darcie Huppert

    • Brandi Lee

    • Kathy Cross

    • Rhoda Byorth

    • Mary Underriner

    • Lynn Harper

    • Nancy Vermeulen

    • Niki Mahon

    • Cary Knudson

    • elena casaretto

    • Anne Nichols

    • Darla Jones

    • Marcia Piemonte

    • David & Robbie Mawyer

    • Jacob Watson

    • Andrea Myers

    • Lori Forseth

    • Sarah Griffin

    • denise hoeflich

    • Kim Epsky

    • Amanda Heinritz

    • Ana Velazquez

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • mark vinicky

    • Marti McKenna

    • Kenzie West

    • Katherine Adams

    • Frances Wasser

    • Vered Hankin

    • Fred Ramos

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

  Joyce Logo

 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council