Cambridge, NY – A one-man tour de force about a local, real-life murder mystery comes to Hubbard Hall. Written and performed by Oliver Wadsworth. Directed by Kirk Jackson. From the team that brought you 2017’s The Book Club Play comes an original murder mystery based on a true story in nearby Manchester, VT. In 1812 Russell Colvin was murdered. His ghost haunted Manchester, VT, until the murderers were brought to justice. Playing more than a dozen roles in this extraordinary piece of theater, Oliver Wadsworth takes us on an adventure both local and cosmic, as we follow his pursuit of the truth – to find who murdered poor Russell Colvin – and why.

“The story of Russell Colvin is a little-known gem of local history. In the present political climate, where people outside the norm feel more ostracized than ever, Russell Colvin’s story–and his miraculous return–is perhaps more pertinent than ever,” writer and actor Oliver Wadsworth explained. Director Kirk Jackson says “The Tarnation of Russell Colvin aims to broaden the historic definition of otherness to include the differently abled, racially diverse, gender questioning, and foreign born, all of whom were vital components of what is so fondly referred to as our Yankee heritage. In the wake of divisive civil discord across the US, the vital message of Tarnation underscores that a common heritage is made of many perspectives.”

The play has toured mostly to small theaters and community centers throughout Vermont. For the first time ever Hubbard Hall is presenting the play with a full lighting design, on its original 1878 opera house main stage.

“Giving this piece an even fuller production than it has had before I think will help Oliver and Kirk learn more about the world of the play and give audiences a special thrill. This is real local history. I love the idea of presenting a new play based on 19th century local history and doing it on our very own 19th century opera house main stage. It’s a bit of time travel, as we follow Oliver on this wonderful journey and explore the mystery of Russell Colvin AND the storytelling craft of one performer masterfully playing many, many parts,” says Hubbard Hall Executive & Artistic Director David Snider.

What the press has said about the show:

“A strangely timely work in the early months of the Trump era when the word “trump” has taken on new, highly debatable, meaning, the story of Manchester, Vermont’s missing citizen is a very amusing look at how that word plays such a large role in this local history.” -Peter Bergman Berkshire Bright Focus

“In this show Wadsworth shows us just about everyone and so there are no lapses in interest, never, as they say, a dull moment.” -Peter Bergman Berkshire Bright Focus

“The Tarnation of Russell Colvin is a fascinating look back at post-Revolutionary New England, its people and its entertainments. This is not just who we were, it is who we still are…This is a story of how our ancestors sought for social justice, and, to a large measure, were successful in achieving it. And it’s a darn good mystery too!” – Gail Burns, Berkshire on Stage

A FREE special behind-the-scenes preview discussion of the show with cast and director will be featured at Battenkill Books in Cambridge on Saturday, January 13 at 11 a.m. (15 East Main St. Cambridge, NY 12816, (518) 677-2515)

Running at Hubbard Hall January 19-28, 2018: Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays-Sundays at 2pm. Opening Night Dinner* and Performance: $60 – Friday, January 19 at 6pm. Regular Tickets: $30 Adults/$15 Students Ages 6-22, Senior Discount for 62 and older $25. Written & performed by Oliver Wadsworth. Directed by Kirk Jackson. Lighting Design by Calvin Anderson. Stage Manager Daniel Salzer.

More info online:

About Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education
Since 1878 Hubbard Hall has developed, produced, and presented theater, music, dance and the visual arts. From 19thcentury vaudeville and traveling troupes performing Shakespeare to today’s newest developing artists, the Hall has long been a home for theater, opera, dance, and music and in recent years has developed into a world-class development center for new work. Through classes in dance, theater, music, movement, puppetry, fencing, and even gardening, Hubbard Hall gives students of all ages an opportunity to learn, collaborate and grow. By offering arts education programming in schools and throughout our region, we connect more deeply with our community and give students throughout the region the opportunity to learn and grow through the arts. Recognized as a leading arts institution in the state of New York, Hubbard Hall is a national model for community-based arts organizations. Hubbard Hall is located at 25 East Main Street in Cambridge, NY. For more information on this and all of our programs, or to purchase tickets, register for classes, make a donation, and/or become a Hubbard Hall Pass carrier please visit or call (518) 677-2495.