Steven Fechter grew up in Los Angeles and attended college in New York where he received a B.A. in English at SUNY Binghamton. He then moved to New York City to pursue life as a poet. Within a year he wrote his first play. Committed to theatre, Fechter enrolled in Hunter College’s Graduate Theatre program. There he studied under the experimental stage director Jacques Chwat. He went on to receive a Ph.D in Theatre at the CUNY Graduate School.
In 1986 Fechter began working on a stage adaptation of Franz Kafka’s last unfinished novel The Castle. With a grant from the Austrian Institute he was able to fund a workshop production titled The Land-Surveyor. The play premiered at The Westbeth Theatre Center in New York City in 1992.
In March of 2000 the Actors Studio produced a workshop production of Fechter’s play The Woodsman, about the redemption of a convicted child molester. Shortly after the production, Fechter began work on a screen version with filmmaker Nicole Kassell. A year later their screenplay won 1st prize in the 2001 Slamdance Screenwriting Competition. Two years later producer Lee Daniels (Monster’s Ball, Precious) produced and Kassell directed the The Woodsman (2004), starring Kevin Bacon. The film received critical acclaim in the U.S. and abroad. Since then The Woodsman play has been staged throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. In spring of 2014, Oberon Theatre Ensemble produced the New York premiere of The Woodsman at the June Havoc Theatre in New York.
Fechter has had two works staged in The New York International Fringe Festival. In 2007 The Commission made its premiere at the Festival. Set during the aftermath of a bloody civil war, the story reveals how love, betrayal, and the fates of four people are intertwined. Premiering the following year was The Golden Aurora, a fable about the mysterious power of love in the tale of a young man who falls in love with a very special dog.
In spring 2011, Fechter was one of three playwrights commissioned by Resonance Ensemble to write a play to run in repertoire with Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays. Fechter’s Shakespeare’s Slave won the competition and premiered on New York’s Theatre Row. Set in 1596, the play imagines a critical time in William Shakespeare’s life.
Fechter’s work has drawn international interest, especially in Germany. The highly regarded Theater Bielefeld in Beilefeld, Germany has produced three of his plays: The Commission (2008), The Woodsman (2010), and upcoming in the 2015/2016 season they will produce the world premiere of Serpent’s Tooth.
In New York, Fechter recently found a director who shares his theatrical vision in director/producer Thom Fogarty. In three years Thom directed three world premiere productions of Fechter’s plays. In 2012, with Other Side Productions, Thom directed The Artifacts and The Mentee at the Bridge Theatre in New York. In the summer of 2014, Thom formed 360rep and produced Lancelot at The Gym at Judson in New York.
Fechter is a member of EST Playwrights Unit, Resonance Ensemble, Oberon Theatre Ensemble, and the Dramatists Guild. Since 2010 Fechter has been a contributor to ScriptShark.com’s ScriptWriting Blog.