After 25 years of service, Andrew McMasters has announced plans to step down as Artistic Director
After 25 years of service, Andrew McMasters, Co-founder and Artistic Director of Jet City Improv, has announced plans to step down as Artistic Director, in order to pursue new opportunities. Over the years, McMasters has directed 10 original improvised plays and has spent more than 15,000 hours performing and teaching.
25 years ago, McMasters and Mike Christensen, Co-founder and Director of Jet City Improv, created the improvised theater company in response to the growing popularity of unscripted comedy. The first-ever performance of Jet City Improv took place at Bite of Seattle on May 18th, 1992. Since then, the company has undergone considerable growth. In 1996, the company incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In 2003, the company relocated to and purchased the former Historic University Theater. Today, Jet City Improv is a $650,000 non-profit theater company, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary on May 18, 2017.
“Andrew and I are trained actors, so when we set out to create Jet City Improv, we had a vision of what theatrical elements could make a great improv show. That theatrical style eventually led us to begin producing fully improvised plays, said Christensen. “This distinct element continues to set Jet City Improv apart from the other groups across the country. Andrew leaves a strong theatrical legacy behind, and we are committed to continue leading the improv community in the art of improvised theater.”
“On behalf of the board of directors, I’d like to thank Andrew for his 25 years of service and dedication to the organization and the community,” said David Bander, Board President of Jet City Improv. “We look forward to taking the next step in growing the organization.”
“It is with a very full heart and innumerable happy memories that I have made the decision to move on,” said McMasters. “I’m very proud to say that we have built something that will last, and it is normal and natural for non-profit organizations undergo a change in leadership. I am ready to let this organization look to the future.”
“Jet City Improv will always be a part of me, and not just because I have our logo tattooed on my shoulder,” said McMasters. “It is the one constant in my life that has sustained me for so long, providing an artistic outlet as well as an organizational challenge and learning experience.”
No timeline has been set for the search and appointment of a new Artistic Director. McMasters will be a part of Jet City Improv’s 25th anniversary weekend celebration on May 18-21, 2017 and the Brew-Ha-Ha, the organization’s annual fundraiser, on June 11, 2017.
Jet City Improv strives to enlighten, educate and entertain audiences through the art of improvisation. The organization performs free comedy shows for children with disabilities and illnesses in Washington and teaches free comedy workshops to homeless and incarcerated youth in Seattle. Today, Jet City Improv employs 5 full-time staff members, 2 part-time staff members and upwards of 50 actors and theater professionals at any point during the course of a production season.