Playwright James Vculek is something of a regular staple at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. This year, he took one of his best works, "Carol and Cotton," to the New York International Fringe Festival with great results.
The festival concluded Sunday and Vculek was one of five playwrights selected for Overall Excellence Awards, chosen by an independent panel of 40 theater professionals.
FringeNYC is the largest muli-arts festival in the United States. More than 200 producers this year had work presented. Unlike the Minnesota Fringe Festival, the New York gig is juried -- which means Vculek's show had to jump the hurdle to get in.
"Carol and Cotton" is about the infamous case of T. Eugene Thompson and his wife, Carol. Thompson was convicted of having his wife killed in their St. Paul home in 1963. The key player in the drama, however, is Norman Mastrian. Thompson hired Mastrian, who then hired a third man. Steve Sweere played Mastrian and Thompson when the play had its premiere in the 2012 Minnesota Fringe. Catherine Johnson Justice played Carol Thompson.
Both actors reprised their work in New York. The show got a good review from the New York Times.