Other Side Productions, The Bridge Theatre, New York City, 2012
The Workshop Theater, New York City, 2007
In THE MENTEE a storm rages. A stranger arrives. A lonely widow and her teen-aged daughter let him in. The stranger makes disturbing claims: that the widow’s husband was his teacher; that he knows the widow well; that the daughter looks nothing like her father. The widow wants him to leave. The daughter wants him to stay. Lies are told, secrets are revealed: a mysterious death, a traumatic birth, a haunted room, and illicit sex. The stranger remains, dreaming of the future. He’s on a mission. He’s the mentee.
What does my body sound like, Chet? Does it hum? Or does it whistle?
BOTTOM LINE: A mother, a daughter, and the man who unexpectedly comes into their lives, occupy the stage in this wrenching new play that blurs the line between truth and illusion.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is not the only play in New York City concerned with blurring the lines between truth and illusion. In the modest black box occupied by the Bridge Theatre on 54th Street, a new pay, The Mentee, has its small ensemble tearing at each other, determined to expose truths and lies, or at the very least feel that bit of vindication from spewing their venomous words Steven Fechter’s play lives in the gap between naturalism and expressionism, and jerks the audience between these styles as it weaves together stark truthfulness and heightened poetry. One may leave the theatre unsure about the actuality of the play’s events, but the bitter impact of the evening will linger, like a strong shot of Irish whiskey as it burns after being gulped.BENJAMIN COLEMAN, Theatre is Easy, theeasy.com