We’re in our 21st 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!
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 Source, you can purchase beer and wine to take into the theater as well as a variety of soft drinks. We also sell small snacks like candy bars, chips, and trail mix. There are a ton of dining options on the 14th Street corridor that offer both quick, inexpensive fare as well as high end restaurants.
For shows at other venues, please check their respective websites. At DC Arts Center, beer and wine are available for purchase.
Nope! It’s perfectly fine to come in jeans and a t-shirt. That said, it can sometimes be chilly in the theater so you should bring an extra layer if you get cold easily.
The majority of WIT shows are at Source (1835 14th St, NW), located across the street from Room and Board and a few doors down from Café Saint Ex. Our Road Shows travel across the DC area, so be sure to check the address when planning your visit.
Parking near Source 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.
There is a paid parking lot at 14th and R as well as one in the Reeves Center at 14th and U. We don’t validate parking. You can also try this website to reserve a spot.
That said, public transportation is generally your best bet (we’re conveniently located around the corner from the U Street-Cardozo metro stop (green/yellow line), a Capital Bikeshare station (14th and V), and several bus routes (check out the WMATA website to plan your trip).
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). Give us a call at 202-204-7770.
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.
Our WIT University 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.
There is some resident two-hour parking around the Columbia Heights neighborhood near CentroNía, which is off of Columbia Road NW (1420 Columbia Rd, NW), and Studio 1469 (1469 Harvard Street Rear, NW). There is also metered parking on 14th Street as well as a parking garage in the DC USA Shopping Complex. 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.
Near Source (1835 14th Street NW) there is also metered parking on 14th Street and 2-hour parking in the residential neighborhoods surrounding 14th and T 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. We find that interest in becoming a TA far outweighs our current capacity. WIT will contact eligible candidates when we are in the market for recruits.
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!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Waitlist” with the day and level of class you are interested in taking. Should a spot become available, you will be notified immediately by email and given 24 hours to respond to sign up for the class. The wait list is disabled one week after the class commences. You are welcome to sign up for another class and stay on the wait list for a specific day. If a spot opens you, you can be transferred into the class of your choosing for free.
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.