Washington Improv Theater was founded in 1986 by Carole Douglis, and then was disbanded in 1992. Three years later, Douglis started training a new cohort of improvisors, some of whom remain in WIT today. The group was re-founded as a consensus-based collective that has grown steadily more ambitious in taking improv performances and classes to the Washington, DC public.
The new troupe began performing in the basement of the Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington's Dupont Circle neighborhood in late 1997. By 1999 WIT performed regularly at Metro Cafe, Diversite, and other clubs around the District. After gaining experience and national exposure at festivals and workshops around the country, the troupe launched an Improv Training Program of its own. WIT then found its way to a home in Washington's theater district at the Source Theater and to the District of Columbia Arts Center in Adams-Morgan. WIT continued to evolve both on- and off-stage, and today performs in downtown DC at Flashpoint's Mead Theater Lab, and holds classes at the Children's Studio School. In 2003 two new performance troupes were added: the shortform group Improv Nation, (subsequently disbanded) and the longform group Jackie. Since then, WIT has welcomed a third troupe, Caveat, and house teams JINX and Season Six. In 2006, it premiered iMusical, a totally improvised musical with words and lyrics made up on-the-spot, directed by Travis Ploeger (co-founder of I eat pandas). WIT also showcases many other new shows throughout its seasonal run. WIT's Training Program has expanded to a six-level classes curriculum that trains over 500 students per year. WIT brings aspects of both performance and training to its corporate workshops, WIT at Large.
WIT's ultimate goal is to create a permanent home theater and school for improv in Washington, DC.
WIT was recently announced as one of the resident companies for the Source (formerly the Source Theater), a 150-seat black box theater purchased by the Cultural Development Corporation. It will begin performances there during the 2008/2009 season.
The WIT motto is: "The Revolution Will be Improvised".
The current Artistic Director is Mark Chalfant.
The current Managing Director is Topher Bellavia.
The current President of the Board of Directors is Melissa Williams.