by Helen Banner
Produced by Lucy Jackson Productions
in association with Dutch Kills
at NYTW Next Door
Sarah MacIntyre, 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.
INTELLIGENCE pulls the audience into a basement conference room in Washington, D.C., for an intense experience of how we code and decode others and ourselves through our imaginations.
Directed by Jess Chayes
Scenic Design by Carolyn Mraz
Lighting & Video Design by Jeannette Oi-Suk Yew
Sound Design by Sinan Zafar
Costume Design by Sophia Choi
Featuring: Kaliswa Brewster, Amelia Pedlow, Rachel Pickup
Photos by Hunter Canning
Gripping... Ms. Chayes and her designers use the few features of the room — the chairs, the door, the world clock — to create an almost unbearable tension... Moments seem balanced on the edge of a very sharp knife. Footsteps in the corridor or a knock at the door can make the breath catch in your throat... It’s exciting, too, to watch women take on the kinds of roles and wield the varieties of expertise that have mostly been accorded to men. Most plays centered on diplomacy and global power dynamics are men’s stories... and it’s terrific to see women given the same privileges and sometimes ugly ambitions. We learn almost nothing about these women’s personal lives and — blissfully — no one has pulled Ms. Banner aside and told her that her characters need to be likable.... “Intelligence” has a velvet-glove grip that’s neatly unrelenting. There’s no negotiating with that.”
“Jess Chayes’ direction is superb, creating a perfect arc to this densely written drama and bringing its packed prose to life."
“★★★★★ Intelligence doesn’t just pass the Bechdel-Wallace test, it raises the bar for what a feminist production can be... Exploring the relationships within and between genders in both the first and third worlds without ever delving into romance, this story proves that “three smart women thinking about the world” can be a commanding situation in hands of the right people...The highest quality... Intelligence delivers a flawless performance.”