We’re in our 25th year of presenting longform improv in the District. Our shows feature our own house ensembles and Harold teams (each with their own distinct style), top independent acts from across the District, as well as nationally known improv artists.
Washington Improv Theater is the District’s premier producer of longform improv. WIT shows are different every night — every night is a world premiere at WIT!
Not really. It’s definitely unscripted, but WIT shows are longform improv. The short games you’d see on Whose Line are called shortform improv.
In longform improv, players create characters and stories on the fly, inspired by an audience suggestion. We host all sorts of improvised acts, from large-scale productions like the satirized presidential campaign POTUS Among Us to improvised musicals. Our shows are exciting, smart, and dynamic—never the same show twice!
Check out our online calendar here!
It depends on the kids and it depends on the show. Our shows are generally PG-13 – no one’s getting naked and there are no gory special effects. That said, our shows do often include adult language and adult situations that aren’t great for young audience members.
One night may be squeaky clean, another may be a bit more bawdy. If you’re in doubt, maybe get a sitter.
Generally, our shows run between 70 and 90 minutes.
For shows at Studio Theatre, there are not currently concessions available. There are many dining options in the 14th Street area for before and after the show.
Our COVID policies are re-evaluated regularly. Currently, we do require audience members to wear masks in performance areas.
The majority of WIT shows are at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St, NW), located on the corner of 14th St. and P St. Our shows travel across the DC area, so be sure to check the address when planning your visit.
Parking near Studio can be competitive on weekend nights. There is zoned parking in the surrounding neighborhoods of the 14th Street and U Street corridors. We recommend showing up early, as finding a spot can take some time.
You can also try this website to reserve a spot.
Except for cases of a WIT cancellation, we can’t offer refunds on purchased tickets.
If you need to switch your ticket, we can try to help you change nights (unless the show’s curtain time is within 24 hours). Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for thinking of us! Given our lean staff size and the many variables in presenting an improv show, we can generally accommodate only a few kinds of requests.
What we can offer:
- a group discount on tickets to a public WIT show. Groups should be 8 or more.
- a paid fun interactive workshop for participants at a gathering or party. Fee for this starts at $400.
- a paid private performance at a performance venue with lights and seating and a captive audience (seated, not playing while people mingle or dance). Fee for this starts at $2,500.
Interested? Email us at email@example.com.
Heck no. If you have a great sense of humor already, that’s awesome; our program is definitely for you. But the classes are about finding the humor in yourself and in the world around you. The only prerequisites for our Foundations of Improv class are an open mind and a desire to have fun.
- Where did you previously study improv (university, another improv school)?
- Who were your instructors?
- When did you complete the curriculum?
- Any additional classes or relevant experience we should know about?
If you have not completed a curriculum at another long form improv theater the highest level you will be placed is Level 2. If your Level 1 did not provide 20 hours of long form instruction, or it’s been more than two years since you’ve taken classes, you will be asked to start at Level 1.
Every class presents a culminating showcase at the end of the quarter. It’s a chance to invite your friend and family to see what you’ve been doing for the past eight weeks. Rest assured, it’s the most generous and supportive audience you’ll ever have and it’s a great low-stakes experience for everyone to get a chance on stage.
However, you are not required to participate in the showcase and missing it has no impact on your ability to take future classes. Showcases are a ton of fun and most students prioritize their schedules to be able to perform.
WIT classes are typically 12 students but are occasionally smaller. In rare circumstances classes will have more students but no bigger than 14 and no fewer than 6. Any given class needs at least 6 students registered in order to continue on to the term – any less and that class will be canceled and all students notified so they may make plans to move to a different course. There is no transfer fee applied should students have to move classes due to low enrollment.
WIT workshops vary in size depending on the instructor’s preference. Our free Improv for All workshops typically have 12 people but may have up to 20.
Our classes are for students ages 18 and older. We do not offer classes for children or teenagers at this time. For the under-18 crowd, we’d recommend checking out Imagination Stage.
Locations: Latin American Youth Center, Universalist National Memorial Church, Sitar Arts Center, Studio Theatre?
If you plan to drive, aim to arrive a good half hour before class so that you leave plenty of time to circle around for parking.
There is some resident two-hour street parking around the Columbia Heights neighborhood near the Latin American Youth Center (1419 Columbia Rd, NW). There is also metered parking on 14th Street as well as a parking garage in the DC USA Shopping Complex.
Street parking on 16th Street opens up at 7 PM near Universalist National Memorial Church (1810 16th Street NW).
There is some two-hour street parking around Sitar Arts Center, but arriving early to find parking is definitely encouraged in this neighborhood.
Near Studio Theatre (1501 14th Street NW) there is also metered parking on 14th Street and 2-hour parking in the residential neighborhoods surrounding 14th and P Streets.
We love your enthusiasm! WIT hires teaching assistants with intent to train them up as a member of the WIT faculty. As with any hiring decision, this is based on a variety of circumstances; need, recommendations, involvement in the community, mastery of the craft and long-term interest in teaching for WIT. For more information on how to become a TA, please click here.
It’s great that you formed such a tight bond with your Level 1 buddies. WIT classes have a very competitive registration process, so you should all coordinate what teacher or day of the week you’d like to take classes well in advance. Be prepared to split up with some of your friends for one term if necessary—playing with as many new people as possible will make you a better improviser overall!
All withdrawals are subject to a $15.25 fee. Students may withdraw from class up to 5 days before the class starts and receive a refund, minus the fee. Less than 5 days before your first class, and before your second class, the $15.25 fee plus 15% of tuition will be deducted from the refund.
There will be no refunds after your second class.
There will be no transfer after your third class.
Transfers do not reset your clock. If you transfer for free into the next session and then decide to get a refund the rules apply to the session you were originally signed up for.
Scenario 1: You transfer for free 5 days before class starts. You then decide you need to withdraw. You incur a $15.25 fee.
Scenario 2: You transfer for free before your second class. You then decide you need to withdraw. This costs you $15.25 + 15% of your tuition.
Scenario 3: You paid $15.25 to transfer to a new session after your second class. You decide you need to withdraw. You get no refund.
No refunds are given for WIT U workshops. We recommend utilizing Facebook and friend networks to find someone to take your spot.
We do not prorate our classes. There are no discounts for missing days of class.
For Levels 1 thru 3, you may request to attend another day of the week if you are going to miss a scheduled class. WIT cannot guarantee a make-up class will be scheduled! Do not assume it’s possible. We will try our best to accommodate requests that meet the following guidelines:
- Make-up classes are only scheduled if it will cover the same week of material missed. Classes on different days of the week are not always aligned.
- Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance from the date you will be absent.
- Make-up classes are only allowed for weeks 1 thru 7. No make-up classes will be scheduled for week 8 of class.
- No make-up class will be scheduled that occur after Week 8 of your class.
- Level 1 classes are capped at 14 students. Level 2 and 3 are capped at 13. Once those limits are reached, you will not able to attend that class to make-up material.
- You may not schedule more than two make-up classes per session.
- WIT does not allow makeup classes for Levels 4 and 5.
To schedule a make-up class, please fill out this form. The Education Director will then contact you with potential makeup dates. Once you have confirmed these dates you will be emailed the room info and your teachers will be notified of the make-up classes. You will not need to email teachers about the make-up date.
After you have attended your make-up class, your primary teacher will mark you as present for that week so that your absence is not counted against you.
Wear comfortable clothes that will allow you to move around. You may want to dress in layers in case you get hot or cold. Many classes take a break in the middle so you may want a snack or a drink for that. A small notebook to jot down your improv epiphanies isn’t a bad idea, but no other materials are necessary for the first class. Teachers will contact their individual classes should students need to bring any materials.
Classes are taught by experienced improv performers, many of whom are members of WIT’s ensembles or Harold teams. All of our teachers have either gone through WIT’s class program or have commensurate teaching experience at other improv institutions. Take a look at some more information about our teachers right here.
Classes are in-person unless otherwise noted. Participants must upload proof of vaccination (including booster) against COVID-19 upon registration .
Each class determines if masks are mandatory or optional via survey. If everyone in class agrees, masks will be optional. If even one person asks masks to be mandatory, medical-grade masks (ex. surgical masks and N-95s) will be required.