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28

SATURDAY

Improvisational theater can be wildly rewarding or spectacularly embarrassing. And the typical improv format generally ensures both results. Washington Improv Theater has solved this problem with its new yuletide-themed show, “Putting the _____ In Your Holiday Season.” Instead of short bits interrupted by pleas for audience suggestions, the WITsters ask the crowd to fill out pre-printed forms, including fake Christmas cards, which the cast draws on throughout the show. The result is a consistent—and, at the performance I attended, hysterical—show. Castmember Mark Raterman says, “I think it’s roughly the same whether it’s written by the audience in advance or given to us during the show: You still have some audience members being honest and some making shit up. And most improv instructors would tell you that there’s no such thing as ‘better’ input from the audience….It’s what you do with it.” WIT is doing very good things indeed. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. $10. (202) 462-7833. (Dave Nuttycombe)