Washington Improv Theater (WIT) is on the hunt for a new home for its classes, programming, and live performances. After learning this week of an unexpected lease termination, WIT will leave its home of 14 years at Source Theater (1835 14th Street, NW) at the end of August. Source Theater is owned by CulturalDC.
WIT, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2023, has used Source’s black box theater as its primary venue for live performances including the annual Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament, the weekly Harold Night series, and myriad other shows. Since July 2021, Source also housed WIT’s primary classroom spaces. WIT’s classes enrolled 1,700+ pre-pandemic and foster a vibrant creative community in DC. After weathering the pandemic, WIT was in the process of rebuilding its education and live performance programs when news of the termination hit.
“When we received the lease termination, I was gobsmacked. But I know WIT’s staff, board, and community are resilient and flexible, so I’m excited to see how we turn this into a positive,” says WIT Artistic/Executive Director Mark Chalfant. “I’m keen to see how we can bring improv into new communities. We’re eager to form new relationships and partnerships to advance our mission of using improv to make DC a more connected and joyous place.”
WIT is engaging its community and the public at large in the search for performance space, classroom space, and administrative space—ideally close together, but potentially separate.
- Finding referrals to people who manage spaces in the District. WIT is collecting responses on two forms: one for classes and one for performances. These forms include specs on exactly what WIT is looking for (the whole campaign is encapsulated in this PDF). If you operate a space yourself and would like to talk about working with WIT, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
- Talking to WIT about sponsoring a space. WIT is open to big conversations about new partnerships. If you’re an individual arts supporter or represent a corporation that wants to make a bold impact in the community, WIT would love to talk to you about opportunities. Email Mark Chalfant directly at email@example.com.
Currently, WIT holds classes at venues including the Universalist National Memorial Church, Atlas Performing Arts Center, DC Arts Center, and Project Create. WIT has historically programmed performances at venues including DC Arts Center, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Studio 1469, and Anacostia Arts Center.
WIT has been a resident company at CulturalDC’s Source Theatre since 2008. INSeries and Constellation Theatre Company are also resident companies at Source. In 2016, CulturalDC sold the Flashpoint Arts Space, which housed Flashpoint Gallery, Mead Theatre Lab, and Dallas Morse Coors Dance Studio.
More information about WIT:
- Information about WIT’s community partnerships program including work at DC Public Schools, Calvary Women’s Services, and Project Create.
- WIT’s FY21 annual report, which details the impact WIT made during quarantine
Washington Improv Theater is dedicated to sharing the creative, collaborative power of improv in DC. WIT is DC’s premier arts organization showcasing and advancing the art form of improvisational theater with over 200 artists, 30 instructors, 1,000 students, and 14,000 audience members engaging annually in performances and classes. WIT is a multi-tiered arts organization: a producing organization exploring and forwarding the craft of long-form improv in challenging new directions; a community organization serving a rapidly growing family of improv artists. WIT is the place for improv in DC. witdc.org, @WITimprov
NOW PLAYING at WIT:
‘(y)Our Town’ at WIT has all the funny and all the feels (review by John Stoltenberg)
CulturalDC disputes how WIT lost its lease at Source Theatre (March 18, 2022, news story by Nicole Hertvik)