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WIT's mission is to UNLEASH the creative power of improv in DC:
We ENGAGE audiences with performances that exhilarate and inspire.
We IGNITE the play in Washington with a revolutionary training program.
We CREATE a home for improv, connected to the life of the city.
The revolution will be improvised
A BRIEF HISTORY OF WIT
Washington Improv Theater was founded in 1986 under the direction of Carole Douglis, but disbanded in 1992. Three years later, Douglis started training a new cohort of improvisers, some of whom remain in WIT today. They re-founded the group as a consensus-based collective that has grown steadily more ambitious in taking improv performances and classes to the DC public.
The new troupe began performing in the basement of the Universalist National Memorial Church in the Dupont Circle neighborhood in late 1997. Douglis left the group to pursue other interests a short time later in 1998. Under the direction of Catherine Weidner, WIT honed its stage show and worked its way into a regular performance schedule at the Metro Cafe, Diversite and other clubs around the District. After gaining national exposure and instruction at festivals and workshops around the country, the troupe launched an Improv Training Program of its own.
The group continued to evolve on and off-stage, and eventually found its way to the Source Theater and the District of Columbia Arts Center, where it still performs today. Under the direction of Katie Carson, WIT worked hard to fine-tune its unique brand of freeform improvisation and further solidified its national reputation. After a number of auditions, WIT expanded its family in 2003 to include the shortform troupe, Improv Nation, and the longform group, Jackie. Both of these troupes feature members of WIT's Training Program.
The revolution is being improvised every day by the dozens of artists, technicians and supporters dedicating themselves to Washington Improv Theater's mission. WIT is a professional theater collective with three ensembles performing regularly in DC and at national festivals. It is a six-level class program training over 200 students per year. And it is a workplace training team bringing unexpected new ideas into old board rooms.
WIT is currently undergoing a major reorganization in order to build an external Board of Directors and begin the process of creating a true improv performance community in the District. The current artistic director is Mark Chalfant.
WIT will always be exploring, creating new shows and classes on the leading edge of the improvisational craft. Shows like the signature freeform performance, Big Bang, the ground-breaking DC's Neutrino Video Project, and the fan-favorite holiday longform production, Seasonal Disorder.
WIT's ultimate pioneering goal is to create a permanent home theater and school for improv in Washington, DC.
The revolution will be improvised.
- Topher Bellavia
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