Columbia College Chicago Hosts ‘Third Mask’ Festival of New Devised Performance May 2-4

The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department and the Columbia College Chicago Business and Entrepreneurship Department are partnering for “The Third Mask: A Festival of New Devised Performance,” to be held May 2 through 4 at three different spaces on Columbia College’s South Loop campus. The Third Mask Festival is a platform for new performative works exploring the concepts of the poetic body, movement-based theatre, the personal as performative, and ensemble creation. This inaugural festival will showcase 10 thesis performances by students in the Columbia College Theatre Department’s first graduate-level program, the MA/MFA Program in European Devised Performance Practice. The festival is presented in collaboration with the Business and Entrepreneurship Department’s Master of Arts Management Program.

Performances in the Third Mask Festival will be held in two locations in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood: the Sheldon Patinkin Theater of the Columbia College Getz Theater Center, 72 E. 11th, and the C33 Gallery at 33 E. Ida B. Wells Drive. All performances are free to the public. Space is limited. For more information and to reserve your seat, click here. Donations are welcome here. For more information please contact

The Columbia College Theatre Department’s European Devised Performance Practice program, launched in 2017, is offered in partnership with the Arthaus Berlin International School for Devised Theatre and Performance (formerly the London International School of Performing Arts). Drawing inspiration from dance, visual arts, and traditional theatre, the program’s MA and MFA tracks both emphasize collaboration as the main expressive tool for the creation of original work. The programs are inspired by the ideas of the famed French movement-theatre teacher Jacques Lecoq, a central figure in mid-20th-century European physical theatre training. The Third Mask Festival’s title is taken from Lecoq’s dictum:

There are three masks:
the one we think we are,
the one we really are, and
the one we have in common


The three-day festival’s performance schedule is as follows. All performances are world premieres:

THURSDAY, MAY 2 — 7 PM, C33 Gallery:
All My Little Words
Created and performed by Ashley Hollingshead, this performative essay explores concepts of artistic failure, practice, and success through personal narrative, movement, and found text in an interactive essay/lecture/performance.
Cookin’ With Janice: Simmerin’
Created by Gabrielle Wilson and Kathleen Gullion, and performed by Wilson, Cookin’ With Janice: Simmerin’ is an exhibition of performance found at the intersection of reality television and mental health, in collaboration with Kathleen Gullion. The use of food materials, Lecoq training, and family bonds will help witnesses find a little bit of themselves in the stains.

This double bill is presented as part of the closing reception for Instructions for Living a Life, an exhibition by Hollingshead and Wilson. The reception begins at 4 PM.

THURSDAY, MAY 2 — 8:30 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:
Small Talk
A family of four. The American Dream in the 1950s. A white picket fence. The show explores the essential component to the success of our nation—women. In a race against the clock of history, can we end our ability to sleep tight when the world around us is unable to see how valuable her really is? Directed by Ben Heustess.
FRIDAY, MAY 3 — 7 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:
GAYHAMLET a tale told by an idiot
A gay queer attempts to explore, connect, dream, and perform his own version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet . . . sorta. Watch what happens live when your fantasy meets your reality in memory. Created and performed by Christopher Gliege.
FRIDAY, MAY 3 — 8 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:

Walking Home at Night

Rachel Paul’s solo piece Walking Home at Night is a series of vignettes that highlight the role that fear plays in a woman’s life. Women and girls of all ages face harassment every day, whether they’re at work, school, a night out, walking down the street, or in the presence of people they trust. Survivors of sexual assault may not know who will believe them. It’s time to listen, understand, and support survivors.
*Content warning: will include references to sexual assault and harassment.*
FRIDAY, MAY 3 — 8:45 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:

We drift off to sleep. We slip away from reality into the illogical dream world, where space is fluid and time begins to melt around us. Only here can we encounter the moments, memories, and shadows our subconscious has tucked away. We submerge the audience into the visually poetic realm of physical theatre, dance, and partner acrobatics, and invite them to engage with us on a deeper level, and dare them to face the unknown. Created by Richard Schiraldi.
SATURDAY, MAY 4 — 4 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:
Try To Be

“We’re throwing a party! We’d like to show you how nice we are! . . . and that we really are good people. Really!” Join the La Vuelta Ensemble in an exploration of our pretensions and secrets through play, high physicality, and delightful absurdity. Created and directed by Raquel Torre. This piece will also be performed Friday through Sunday, May 23 through 25, at UrbanTheatre Company, : 2620 W. Division, Chicago.

SATURDAY, MAY 4 — 5 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:
Olympia! Olympia! Olympia!
Olympia! Olympia! Olympia! is a campfire concert about personal myth, stories that are more true than real, and leaving your children in the woods. It is created by Claire Kaplan with musical direction by Jon Schneidman. The new devised piece with rock music, folktales, family history, and the body in space invites audiences to think of their own home stories as the mythic canon of their life by asking: how do you tell it?
SATURDAY, MAY 4 — 6:15 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:
Portable Skin
Directed and created by Fate Richey, Portable Skin is an exploration of the self: who we are, who we could have been, and how to reconcile the two. It is inspired by research of the feminine and trickster myth, and how protagonist and antagonist live in one self by shapeshifting through multiple worlds and styles, all the while seeking answers to questions of vulnerability, fear, change, memory, and how to be who you are.
SATURDAY, MAY 4 — 7:15 PM, Sheldon Patinkin Theater:

Wild Women

In a dark, empty temple of unknown origins, three ancient goddesses are summoned to bestow their wisdom upon the city. Instead, the heavens send women that your mother hoped you would never become. These grotesque creatures take audiences through their hilarious (and offensive) version of history to challenge Western culture’s views on femininity. Created and directed by Brittany Price Anderson.

In the spirit of educational growth, The Third Mask Festival will also include several workshops and panels, meant to serve as a safe space to learn and discuss relevant themes presented throughout the festival. For more information, click here.