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Second City names Jon Carr new executive producer

Carr will oversee all educational programs, business services, online classes and streaming performances for all three Second City locations, including Toronto and Hollywood.

Jon Carr has been named the new executive producer at Second City, effective Dec. 15.
Jon Carr has been named the new executive producer at Second City, effective Dec. 15.
The Second City

The Second City on Wednesday announced the appointment of Jon Carr as executive producer, effective Dec. 15.

Carr succeeds Anthony LeBlanc, who served as Second City’s interim executive producer since June, following the departure of Andrew Alexander, co-owner and longtime executive producer of the famed company.

Carr, a veteran improv artist and award-winning playwright, was most recently the artistic director of the Dad’s Garage Theater in Atlanta. He formerly was the audience development manager of that city’s Alliance Theatre and the founder of United Atlanta Improv. According to the official announcement, with his Dad’s Garage improv group “Dark Side of the Room,” Carr has worked with the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Carr was awarded the 2018 Suzi Bass Award for best original play for “Black Nerd.”

“The Second City has been an improv, comedy, and cultural institution speaking truth to power for decades, and that will continue,” Carr said via statement. “I look forward to being a champion for all voices to be authentically amplified and, of course, funny as hell.”

In his capacity as executive producer, Carr will oversee all educational programs, business services, online classes and streaming performances for all three Second City locations, including Toronto and Hollywood.

Carr’s hiring comes in the wake of highly publicized turmoil at Second City Chicago, where allegations of institutional racism were levied against the company and Alexander, prompting his exit. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dad’s Garage has also “struggled to diversify its staff and cast, and Carr became the organization’s first person of color to lead the company.”

“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 Steve Johnston, Second City president. “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.”

In October it was announced that the Chicago improv comedy hub on Wells Street that launched the careers of a host of comedians, is for sale. The sale is only the second one in the company’s 60-year history.

UPDATE: It was announced Nov. 30 that Ashley Bugeja is joining the company as vice president of human resources and Parisa Jalili is promoted to to chief operating officer. Jalili had previously served as vice president of sales operations since 2019.