Next Door at NYTW provides a home for companies and artists who are producing their own work. This initiative provides each project with subsidized resources and space for development and performance in the Fourth Street Theatre. As part of an ongoing effort to expand support for artists at every stage of their careers, this series served nearly 100 additional artists in the first year alone.



Good Neighbor Program Directions Accessibility

By Helen Banner
Directed by Jess Chayes
Produced by Lucy Jackson in association with Dutch Kills Theater


January 10, 2019—February 2, 2019

Good Neighbor Program Directions Accessibility
Read Synopsis

Sarah McIntyre, a presidential appointee parachuted into the Foreign Service, has been assigned two wary young diplomats to develop her pet project: New Training Scenarios for the Resolution of Intractable Global Situations. The three begin to role-play, led by a charismatic woman experienced in persuading men to lay down arms.

Suddenly, a rebel group lashes out in a distant country, destroying the tenuous peace recently negotiated by McIntyre. The women’s role-playing becomes increasingly charged, pushing them deeper into the bodies and minds of violent insurgents. Meanwhile, as Washington undergoes its own regime change, their work becomes active weaponry for Sarah’s political enemies.

Intelligence is a semi-immersive play developed by playwright Helen Banner and director Jess Chayes that pulls the audience into a Washington, D.C. basement conference room, for an intense experience of how we code and decode others and ourselves through our imaginations. Intelligence received developmental support as part of the 2017 Artist Residency Program of The Drama League of New York, and the New Georges JAM.


Helen Banner / Playwright

Helen Banner is a playwright and librettist and co-founder of the Byzantine Choral Project, as well as a member of The Jam at New Georges. She grew up in the British Channel Islands and studied at Cambridge and the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, where she completed her MFA in Dramatic Writing and was awarded the John Golden Playwriting Award. Her work has been developed at New Georges, the O’Neill Theater Center, the Drama League, Fresh Ground Pepper, the Wild Project, Dixon Place, the Tank, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Lark, the Great Plains Theatre Conference and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference and she was a participant in the Ingram New Works Lab 2015-16 at Nashville Repertory Theater.  Helen was recently a 2016-17 Special Resident at New Georges creating LA DÉROUTE a medieval water opera in collaboration with composer Catherine Brookman for inclusion in their Water City take-over of 3LD Arts and Technology Centre in June 2017. Her choral play ICONS/IDOLS: IRENE, written in collaboration with the composer Grace Oberhofer for the Byzantine Choral Project, was the opening show at the New Ohio’s Ice Factory 2016 and they were awarded a 2017-2018 OPERA America Discovery Grant to continue developing ICONS/ICONS as a tetralogy of choral plays. You can find out more about Helen’s work at and

Jess Chayes / Director

Jess Chayes is a Brooklyn-based director and founding co-artistic director of The Assembly, with whom she has co-created and directed eight original productions, including I Will Look Forward To This Later (New Ohio Theater/IRT Theater Archive Residency) and HOME/SICK (NY Times and Backstage Critics’ Pick). Recent directing includes Holidays In/Coyote (The Exponential Festival/The Tank),  Lipstick Lobotomy (Juilliard School), The Providence of Neighboring Bodies and Latter Days (Dutch Kills), Half Moon Bay (Lesser America), Primal Play (New Georges), The Bachelors (Williamstown Theater Festival), The Sister (Dutch Kills), and The Netflix Plays (Ars Nova). She has developed new work with The Vineyard Theatre, The Playwrights Center and New York Theatre Workshop, among others. Jess is a NYTW Usual Suspect, a 2018 Audrey resident with New Georges, a co-founder of The New Georges Jam, and alum of The Civilians R&D Group and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Associate Director on Peter and the Starcatcher (Brooks Atkinson Theater and New World Stages) and Misery (Broadhurst Theater). Jess is the recipient of the 2017 Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women.