An open invitation from WIT’s Mark Chalfant to the 116th Congress

Greetings to the 116th Congress!

We hope you have enjoyed your first day on the Hill, settled into your new offices, and eaten a healthy breakfast—you’ve got a lot of work ahead!

Let me introduce myself: my name is Mark Chalfant and I’m the artistic and executive director of Washington Improv Theater (WIT). We’ve been around for a little over 20 years and I’ve been in my job for about 15 of those. I’m originally from Laurel, Md. (hello Rep. Brown – MD 4th!) but currently live in the District (hello Del. Holmes Norton!) .

The federal government’s shutdown is worrying us all! Many of our students, audience members, performers and community members are currently out of the job. We’ve actually scheduled a free workshop for furloughed workers to help give them a small reprieve.

We want to help. You might be wondering what a small nonprofit improv theater can do to help with the complicated situation in re-opening the government, but stay with me.

Improv is an amazing tool to help people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Every night, we get up on stage with no script and delight audiences simply by listening and building off each others’ ideas. Publications like Forbes and Slate have documented how applied improv can yield real results for teams. And we’re not new at this—our WIT@Work organizational trainings have worked with Deloitte, Capital One, The Brookings Institution, and a host of other organizations large and small.

With that in mind, I extend an open invitation to host a free bipartisan workshop for members of Congress and/or their chiefs of staff. Just send me an email at or give us a call at 202-204-7770 to let us know you’re interested and we will get something on the books. We’d love to find a time for folks from both sides of the aisle to rediscover what it’s like to say yes, withhold judgement, and work together.

If you can’t make this work until the government is open again, I totally get it. We’ll do it once everyone’s back to work.

I hope to hear from you soon!


Mark Chalfant


PS – Washington, D.C. would like to be a state, please.

January 4, 2019