Anna K. Nelson

Anna joined WIT's staff in June 2023 after an established career as an international journalist and humanitarian communicator. Originally from the Midwest, Anna spent 22 years living in Europe before moving to DC in 2013.

She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from the American University of Paris (France) and an MA in International Journalism from City University of London (UK). Anna has traveled to over 35 countries and has used her storytelling skills to shed light on human suffering – and resilience – in war-torn and disaster-affected places from Pakistan and the Gaza Strip to Bosnia and Mali.

She has served as a member of the Board of Directors at the District Improv Festival and is a 2023 HumanitiesDC grant recipient for her personal project, “And… Scene! An Oral History of Improv in DC.”

Anna became seriously smitten with improv in 2019, when she took a beginner-level class at the DC Improv comedy club. After exhausting their entire curriculum, she started attending courses at WIT. (Anna and WIT were just dating at first but then she began performing in student showcases and events like Improvapalooza and FIST. It was, as they say in France, “Le grand amour!”)

Unsurprisingly, Anna performs with the French-speaking indie troupe, La Vie en French.

Current Ensembles
Ask her about
The Flying Farmer Queen of Minnesota
Childhood Imaginary Friends
Jerry, Pock, and Ming - they were choir boys, who skipped out on lunch one day (her Mom set a place for each at every meal) and moved to NYC. Anna's still hoping for a postcard from Broadway.
First words
"New shoes!"
Favorite quote
"America is my country and Paris is my hometown." - Gertrude Stein

Even though she works at WIT, you'll often find Anna volunteering in her spare time as a videographer or usher at WIT performances. (Because she "just can't seem to get enough improv in her diet.")

Anna encourages everyone to volunteer – regardless of whether they are taking a class, hoping to perform, or just want to see a fun show. Regular volunteers get cool perks, like class discounts and the chance to see performances for free.

Anna believes they play a really important behind-the-scenes role in making sure that WIT performances go off without a hitch. Plus, she says, “They get to peek behind the curtain and catch a glimpse of how the proverbial magic gets made.”

Anna became a member of the Harold Team Program in 2023. She likes to play high-energy, often foolish characters... probably because she winds up being the "voice of reason" too often in real life!

Anna loves the team name, “Anchor Point,” which Miriam Webster defines as: “A point on an archer’s face… against which the drawing hand is placed in order to stabilize the archer’s aim before release of the arrow.” She likens that moment of tension to the feeling right before a performance.

“There’s definitely a vulnerability that comes with going out on stage when you have no idea what you’re going to say or do. Knowing that my teammates have my back allows me to be grounded. When you’re relaxed and having fun together, you can’t help but hit your mark.”

Current Ensembles
Favorite character to play
I developed a "Scandewegian" character who is a cross between my Swedish grandmother and Norwegian grandfather, Tim Conway's Mr. Tudball, and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls. She talks a lot about lutefisk and lefse.
Famous comedic heroes
Carol Burnett, Melissa McCarthy, Alan Alda, Wanda Sykes, Tig Notaro, Robin Williams, and Mike Birbiglia