Ashland University to Bring Master Illusionist to Campus

8/5/10 ASHLAND, OH -- The Mayhem and Misdirection Tour featuring a variety show of music, mystery, illusion and comedy by master illusionist Harris III and special guest 321 Improv Comedy is coming to Ashland University on Oct. 30 for a performance in Hugo Young Theatre.

The 7:30 p.m. show, sponsored by the Center of Religious Life as a part of the Christian Activities Day events, will offer "hilarious, interactive, life-changing fun for the entire family." Doors will open at 7 p.m.

"Harris III performed at this event last year to a sellout crowd so we decided to bring him back again," said Dr. Dan Lawson, dean of the center of religious life. "Again this year we expect this event to have great entertainment value for the whole family. All generations will really enjoy it."

Tickets for the show are $15 in advance or $12 in advance for groups of 10 or more, and $20 the day of show. The cost for Ashland University students is $2 with I.D. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Religious Life Office at 419-289-5489 or, starting Sept. 7, by calling the Ashland University box office at 419-289-5125 Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m.

Harris is billed as a "master illusionist and unforgettable communicator." Since receiving a magic set from his grandmother at the age of 9, he has been fascinated with magic, illusion and how easily the senses are deceived. At age 11 he gave his first public performances.

Today, at the age of 26, he is a classically trained, award-winning, master illusionist, and an expert in the art of deception. He has performed before one million people in more than 12 nations on five continents. Harris' performances not only amaze his audiences, but also awaken them to the lure of deception, the power of the senses, and the secret of living life based on deeper realities.

Harris is widely known for his high level of professionalism and showmanship, and is regularly recognized by his peers on an international level. In an unprecedented show of respect for such a young performer, he has been the subject of two cover articles in The Christian Conjurer, the official publication of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians (FCM). He also has won numerous awards from the International Brotherhood of Magicians for his stage performance and skills in the art of magic.

While Harris has earned much respect as an artist, he is equally as talented as a communicator. Whether telling a story, speaking from his heart, or performing magic, his ultimate goal is to inspire and challenge people, initiating change and transformation.

"It's not always about revealing truth, but helping people challenge their assumptions, and ask deep questions about what life is really all about," he said. "The journey is as important as the discovery. I love when people discover truth that radically changes their lives, but as long as people leave our shows talking about not just what they saw, but what they heard and feel challenged to process, I am perfectly fulfilled."

321 Improv Comedy will bring tears to your eyes, a pain to your side and they'll make your face ache with laughter. An evening with 321 Improv is a unique interactive comedy experience. Each show, the three guys in 321 Improv instantly turn audience suggestions into hilarious scenes and no two shows are the same.

321 Improv Comedy is comprised of Carl Crispin and Adam Mollhagen, both of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Erik Gascoigne who lives near Minneapolis, Minn. Crispin, co-founder and member of CPR Improv Comedy from 1992-2004, started 321 Improv in 2004 and has been traveling and performing improv full time since 1997. Mollhagen and Gascoigne have been part of the group since 2007. Both of them bring many years of comedy and improv experience to the team as well as a level of energy that makes the show completely unpredictable.

Since the group was formed in 2004, 321 Improv Comedy has been in high demand for events across the United States and Canada. In their first four years, they've traveled extensively and performed for more than 200,000 people.

The three members of 321 Improv have come together to join in a ministry that attempts to glorify God in everything they do. Crispin sums it up this way, "Our goal is to use comedy to spread a message of true joy that can only come from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

Ashland University (<>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.