Helen Banner

Helen Banner

Helen is a playwright and librettist and an affiliated artist 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, Fresh Ground Pepper, the Wild Project, Dixon Place, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The...
Helen is a playwright and librettist and an affiliated artist 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, Fresh Ground Pepper, the Wild Project, Dixon Place, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Lark, the Great Plains Theatre Conference and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. She is an alumna of the JAM at New Georges and the Ingram New Works Lab at Nashville Repertory Theater. Helen was recently a 2016-17 Special Resident at New Georges creating LA DÉROUTE a medieval water opera 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 grant to continue developing ICONS/ICONS as a tetralogy of choral plays. The Byzantine Choral Project were recently selected to be 2018-2020 Archive Residents at the New Ohio/IRT Theaters. See www.byzantinechoralproject.com for updates and the next concert performances.

Helen's play INTELLIGENCE, about three American female diplomats role-playing a crisis, will be a part of NYTW's Next Door Series in Jan 2019, directed by Jess Chayes and co-produced by Lucy Jackson and Dutch Kills Theater Company.

Plays

  • Thrill Day
    In the 1890s, all around America, Victorian entrepreneurs exploited a craze for wrecking steam trains head-on on the final day of State Fairs, sometimes with fatal consequences as steam can explode like a bomb. KATE, a train crash survivor and her husband, PHILIP, are struggling with her diagnosis of railroad spine. They want to use a staged train wrecking at their local State Fair to cure Kate and regain the...
    In the 1890s, all around America, Victorian entrepreneurs exploited a craze for wrecking steam trains head-on on the final day of State Fairs, sometimes with fatal consequences as steam can explode like a bomb. KATE, a train crash survivor and her husband, PHILIP, are struggling with her diagnosis of railroad spine. They want to use a staged train wrecking at their local State Fair to cure Kate and regain the bohemian marriage they used to have. As they manipulate the stunt crew in pursuit of increasing thrills, they antagonize ALISTAIR, the puritanical carnie man in charge of the wrecking, and put the whole town at risk in a collision of steel, sex, race, gender and class.
  • Soldier Love
    SOLDIER LOVE is a love triangle set in the air that examines our contemporary beliefs about courage and self-realization. FRED, an American soldier on his last day of leave from active combat in Afghanistan, takes off on a final day of hang-gliding with his lover ERIN. His wife LINDA interrupts them at take off, aware of the potential affair, but oblivious to Fred and Erin's plan to fly AWOL over the...
    SOLDIER LOVE is a love triangle set in the air that examines our contemporary beliefs about courage and self-realization. FRED, an American soldier on his last day of leave from active combat in Afghanistan, takes off on a final day of hang-gliding with his lover ERIN. His wife LINDA interrupts them at take off, aware of the potential affair, but oblivious to Fred and Erin's plan to fly AWOL over the border. When Linda makes Fred take an unwanted radio with him and keep talking to her on the ground, she discovers their flight plan.

    Furious at his ability to leave her and their young children and betray his country, Linda ruthlessly uses Erin's fear of crashing to force Fred to choose between freedom and duty.

Recommended by Helen Banner

  • Duck
    25 Apr. 2017
    A wry, sweet dance of a play that gets closer and closer to the pain of its characters without losing any of its sense of fun and theatricality. This writer completely understands how we create comfort and defenses for ourselves out of the fabric of popular culture, toys and disposable art. I'd love to see a production led by a dance company with full choreography.