CHICAGO: The Second City has announced that Jon Carr has been hired as the company’s new executive producer, beginning Dec. 15. For the move, Carr will be leaving his position as artistic director of Atlanta’s Dad’s Garage Theatre, where he has been an ensemble performer since 2014. Carr will take over Second City’s three locations—Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood—from Anthony LeBlanc, who has served as the interim executive producer since June.
“Jon Carr is the perfect person to navigate the Second City through this exciting time with all the humor, artistic vision, and flexibility required—and that’s what improv is all about,” said Second City president Steve Johnston in a statement. “As we move forward, we build on a more than 60-year legacy that brings us to a brand new chapter for the company, filled with promise and possibilities.”
Carr, who will be based in Chicago, joins a Second City organization that is currently looking for new ownership and is in the middle of reinventing and refocusing its efforts around diversity, following accusations of institutionalized racism. As executive producer, Carr will be overseeing all of Second City’s creative work, including theatre, educational programs, business services, and the company’s pivot to streaming.
“The Second City has been an improv, comedy, and cultural institution speaking truth to power for decades,” said Carr in a statement, “and that will continue. I look forward to being a champion for all voices to be authentically amplified and, of course, funny as hell.”
Prior to joining Second City, Carr was hired as the Dad’s Garage interim artistic director in November 2019 before being named artistic director on Feb. 1. Carr has also worked in the marketing and artistic offices at the Alliance Theatre and served as the marketing director for Dad’s Garage. Carr has been a part of Atlanta’s creative community for more than 15 years, including founding United Atlanta Improv to foster collaboration between the city’s improv theatres. In addition to being an improviser and performer, Carr’s original play Black Nerd won the 2018 Suzi Bass Award for best play. Carr holds a degree in marketing and business administration from Georgia State University.
“We are lucky to have found someone like Jon,” said Second City interim executive producer LeBlanc, who will be returning to his work with Nickelodeon in Los Angeles, in a statement. “He’s the perfect combination of hilarious performer and artistic leader who not only has a deep knowledge of comedy and collaborative work, but also a new and fresh perspective that will lead Second City towards a bright future.”
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