WIT updates masking protocol in response to public health guidelines, community feedback

In response to feedback from our community, as well as changes to public health guidelines, the Washington Improv Theater plans to scale back our masking requirement for audiences and performers as of July 1, 2023.

Going forward, our policy will switch from “Masks Required” to “Masks Recommended” for anyone comes to see our shows. Performers are invited to wear masks if they choose.

“Safeguarding people’s health, safety, and well-being is of vital importance,” says WIT Artistic/Executive Director Mark Chalfant. “In recent weeks, we’ve taken the time to canvas opinions and this transition reflects the majority point of view, as well as changes we have seen at other theaters and in the travel industry.”

That said, everyone is welcome—and even encouraged—to wear a medical-grade surgical or N-95 mask when they are at WIT shows. Performers, staff, and volunteers are asked to continue to monitor their health. If anyone feels sick, they should stay home. Period. This goes for patrons as well.

WIT staff weighed the pros and cons of this policy change carefully. The decision to move towards a “Masks Recommended” stance reflects the results of a recent survey of community members, which revealed significant support for a shift away from mandatory masking compared to a previous survey in February 2023.

The new protocol applies to weekend performances, as well as Harold Nights, auditions, and rehearsals. Importantly, WIT decided that performances set to take place at any point during the month of July could be designated “Masks Required,” at the request of any performer. This is to give our performers, particularly those who may be immunocompromised, time to adjust to the change in policy.

Audience members, who purchase concessions from Studio Theatre’s second floor bar are permitted to bring those beverages into WIT performance spaces.

You can read more about WIT’s COVID policies on our COVID safety page.

June 27, 2023