Interested in performing at Comedy Café Berlin? Read on!
Read on or use the links above to get more info! We ask that you avoid frustration on all sides and read the pertinent info in full. There’s a lot of detail but it is our hope to get you as informed as possible without having to message us. Please understand that it is unlikely we’ll respond to any questions that are already answered below. Thanks for your understanding!
The CCB Booking Committee
The majority of shows at Comedy Café Berlin are booked by our Booking Committee. After reading about our policies here, you may get in touch with them via the contact info below.
CCB House Teams
CCB House Teams represent the pinnacle of The CCB Training School and the best of what our community has to offer.
Students who have satisfactorily completed Levels 1 – 3 are able to audition for Harold House teams, and, upon acceptance, are coached by CCBTS instructors and coaches. Improvisers with equivalent experience are welcome to apply for a waiver to audition by emailing [email protected], but must receive approval before being eligible to audition! Auditions are typically held once or twice a year, depending on student body size and openings on the teams. Team members are expected to make regular (weekly) practice sessions and shows (each team performs twice a month).
Harold Teams perform regularly on Friday nights at CCB and form the core of our community of performers. Harold team players are automatically eligible to be an approved indie team coach and are likewise eligible to enter the The CCB Training School teacher training program and become instructors at CCBTS.
How to perform improv on the CCB stage if you’re not on House Teams
CCB is committed to growing interest in improv and the improv community at large, and does so through The CCB Training School and our ever-growing program of improv shows. As a locus of improvised comedy in Berlin, the theatre is inherently responsible for providing space for improvisers to perform, no matter their skill level, and does so in a number of ways. First and foremost, the theatre presents improv at its highest level via House Teams. Following this, CCB provides opportunities for improvisers who are either not yet at their highest potential, cannot commit to a regular performance schedule, or are simply passing through Berlin and would like to get on stage.
The following outlines the numerous ways in which improvisers can perform on the CCB stage if they are not on a House Team. These improvisers may be solo performers who are not on a team, have formed a team on their own (referred to as an “Indie Team”) or are simply visiting from abroad. All booking at CCB, whether for individual performers or teams, will adhere to our Theatre Policies.
The CCB Program includes several evenings for solo improvisers and indie teams to perform on stage:
|Where to perform||How to perform||Requirements*|
|The CCB Improv Jam|
The jam takes place every Thursday and is open to anyone who wants to perform. Be aware that the Jam is for individuals, not teams.
|Show up to sign up! Performers are randomly placed on a team. Each team gets 15-20 minutes to perform long form improv.||None!|
|The Indie Improv Show|
A monthly show at the theatre. Each team gets ~25 minutes.
|Email the CCB Booking Committee and express interest. We also publish regular calls for teams via our newsletter and social media channels. Indie teams are selected by the Booking Committee¹.||All performers must have completed The CCB Training School curriculum through Level 3.|
The team must receive regular coaching from CCBTS approved coaches.
The Hedge is an improv comedy showcase hosted by Cuter Than Hedgehogs which takes place every 2nd Thursday. The showcase is open to any team, both newly formed or more established.
|Teams are encouraged to sign up in advance via email. If selected, each team gets ~20 minutes to perform. The only vetting process is scheduling, availability and frequency with which you perform. Cuter Than Hedgehogs curate the evening according to who’s available and opportunity (i.e., teams and performers who haven’t seen much stage time will get preference).||None, though newly formed teams are encouraged to put some practice time in.|
|The CCB Improv Tournament/Cage Match|
Twice a year CCB (usually in August & January) hosts an open longform improv tournament.
|Open bi-annual calls (via our newsletter, website and social media channels) are made for indie teams to sign up.||None. Specific tournament rules apply. Read more information about the tournaments here.|
|Host the CCB Improv Jam|
Indie teams are also selected to host the jam. A new indie team hosts every week.
|Sign up to host via quarterly calls on the CCB Improv Jam Facebook group.||All performers must have completed The CCB Training School curriculum through Level 2 (Truth of the Scene and Game of the Scene)|
The team must understand and agree to the CCB improv jam tips and be able to coherently present them to the audience and fellow jammers.
¹ Selection is a judgement call based on whether a team meets a standard of high level of performance. Do they improvise well? Do they conduct themselves professionally? Are they daring, smart and do they make interesting moves on stage? Teams that are not deemed to meet this criteria will be given feedback in order to improve their performance level.
Information for visiting improv teams
CCB is dedicated to showcasing longform improv comedy and our style is geared towards what could be considered a “North American approach” to improv. Please read our Theatre Policy on booking for more info. If your improv is influenced by Del Close, UCB, TJ & Dave, Orange Tuxedo, Tina Fey, Nicole Byer, or Will Hines (just by way of example) you’re likely a good fit for our stage. We say this not to cast judgment on other styles or forms of improv, but because we’re a small theater with a limited schedule and a distinct style. If you feel like your team would be a good fit, then feel free to get in touch with us.
The earlier you can get in touch with us, the likelier it’ll be that we’ll be able to book you! Realistically speaking, The Indie Improv Show and The Hedge (see above) are the only shows where we’d be able to book most teams, and they tend to be booked well in advance. Specific requirements for The Indie Improv Show will be waived for out-of-town teams, but we still expect teams to have completed a significant amount of training (i.e., you’ve put the time in!) and to be practicing regularly with a coach.
Finally, we ask for your patience when getting in touch with us. We receive a high volume of booking requests and it often takes us a while to get back to you!
Why are there requirements?
Our goal is to provide as many opportunities as possible for improvisers of all experience levels to perform. Ultimately, becoming a skilled and talented improviser is about putting the time in (as with all comedy and art!). The simplest way we can assure our Main Stage shows (House Teams, The Indie Improv Show, other ‘prime time’ shows) are keeping up with our expectations of quality – people are paying for tickets, after all! – is to make sure the teams have put the time in by asking them to have completed a minimum amount of training and to be getting coached practice (see our philosophy on coaching on our Coaching page).
Further, the simplest way we can assure that performers and teams are playing to our specific expectations (this means not just style of play but understanding and internalizing our ethos – as encapsulated in our Code of Conduct), is for us to ask performers/teams to be getting training from our school and coaching from experienced performers at CCB (our approved coaches). If you are financially unable to afford classes/coaching, please get in touch with us. We have scholarship programs in place to ensure our school and stage are open to everyone. Our goal is to showcase great comedy, not to make profit (but we still need to keep the lights on).
My team has met all the requirements, will we automatically get on stage?
In short – no. Your opportunities will be much greater, but for Main Stage shows (House Teams, The Indie Improv Show, other ‘prime time’ shows), CCB Programmers will still be curating the program. Getting booked will depend on a lot of factors that are impossible to quantify, but simply put – approval is a judgement call based on whether a team meets a standard of high level of performance. Do they improvise well? Do they conduct themselves professionally? Are they daring, smart and do they make interesting moves on stage? Teams that are not deemed to meet this criteria will be given feedback in order to improve their performance level. We want you to get on stage, even if it takes time!
Will I get paid?
House Team players are not paid for performances. They are given free coaching, are given deference for producing other paid shows and are offered multiple opportunities to make money in other ways: becoming an instructor at The CCB Training School, coaching and producing/performing in other paid shows. Currently, 100% of the income earned from House Team shows (Harold Night) is used to help keep the theater afloat and pay for additional House Team coaches.
Teams performing in or hosting The Improv Jam, The Hedge, or The CCB CageMatch are not paid as these are free or fundraising shows. In some cases, performers get free drinks at the bar.
Teams performing in The Indie Improv Show split 70% of ticket sales (the remaining 30% go to the theatre).
Generally speaking, in any free/donation-based show, performers/teams performing in the show split 100% of those donations; for any ticketed Main Stage shows not addressed above, producers/performers get 70% of ticket income after taxes and fees. How that income is split is up to individual show producers. We encourage producers to be transparent and fair regarding payment with performers they book.
Stand Up/Panel/Sketch/Other shows
Please read fully before contacting us!
We expect all performers on our stage to read and agree to our Code of Conduct! Additionally, all booking at CCB, whether for individual performers or for full shows, will adhere to our Theatre Policies.
We do not book for stand up showcases so requests for feature or open spots will be ignored.
Our weekly stand up open mic is currently on hiatus but you can find a plethora of mics all over the city at comedyinenglish.de. Four Eyes is a monthly storytelling open mic at theatre and you can request a spot on Facebook. Visiting improvisers (and anyone else!) are welcome to join our open improv jam on Sundays.
If you have a stand up solo or double bill, sketch, or ensemble comedy show, please read on.
We kindly ask that you check our schedule before submitting! We typically book at least several months in advance, so last minute requests will likely be impossible. We have performance slots on select Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – due to our regular weekly programming on weeknights, those nights are almost always unavailable. Shows should be 50 – 60 minutes in length.
Please submit your show via the form below or via email (please do not message us on other platforms or send us physical submissions via post). We highly recommend including video links and any awards/recommendations you’ve received. We are much more likely to book you if folks we know can vouch for you or if you can show us you’ll be able to draw a crowd (the unfortunately reality is that we often have to do this via social media numbers. It sucks, but if we don’t know you and you’ve only got a couple hundred Twitter or Facebook followers it’s very difficult for us to book you.) For more information on how we book shows, please read our Theatre Policy on booking.
We do not negotiate performance fees but offer a generous 70% split of ticket sales after taxes and online fees. Our standard ticket prices are 10€ online/12€ at the door.
We highly encourage BIPOC, LGTBQI+ and other under-represented artists to get in touch!
Irregular booked or panel shows (The Yarn/Berlin News Quiz/Stand up vs improv/The Queen’s Court/etc)
If you’re interested in being booked on any of the monthly shows at CCB (check our schedule or Facebook page), we encourage you to contact those show producers/hosts as CCB Programmers do not book individual performers for those shows. With very rare exception, all show descriptions specify hosts/producers. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease: If a producer doesn’t know you’re interested in performing, it’s unlikely they’ll book you! With that being said, if a producer/host doesn’t know you at all, it’s also unlikely they’ll book you. Put the time in (there are open mics all over town), get to know the folks booking shows (most of them are at CCB often), and be cool/friendly! There’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying. Don’t harass producers/hosts!
Sketch shows (The Weird Show/VCR/etc)
If you’re an experienced sketch comedian interested in writing or performing in any of the sketch shows at CCB, we recommend coming to a sketch show (Macrodose every 4th Friday at 9:30pm or The Queen’s Court – a semi-regular character open mic) and getting to know the folks producing sketch shows, as CCB does not currently book individual writers/performers for sketch shows.
If you’re interested in sketch writing/performing but have little to no experience, our Training School offers courses in sketch comedy! House Sketch Teams will start in 2023. Writers/Performers for House Sketch Teams will need to audition for the teams and will need to show sketch experience, either through courses at CCBTS or previous experience.
Your own show
If you’re interested in producing a show of your own at CCB, please get in touch with us either in person, via email or via the form below (please do not message us on other platforms or send us physical submissions via post). We typically book several months in advance, so last minute bookings will likely be impossible. We also have limited openings, BUT we’re always looking for something new. If you’ve got an interesting, fresh and compelling show idea and you can show us that you’ll be able to execute it and get an audience in, we’re happy to explore booking you. As with anything, you’ll have a much higher chance of winning us over if we know you or you can get someone we know to vouch for you!
All ticket income is split 70/30 with producers after taxes and online fees. Producers will need to properly invoice Comedy Café Berlin and payment will be sent via bank transfer. Producers are responsible for ensuring performers on their shows are fairly and promptly compensated.
Producers are responsible for ensuring their show and performers in their show adhere to our Code of Conduct. Additionally, we expect producers to book diverse performers for their shows.
We highly encourage BIPOC, LGTBQI+ and other under-represented artists to get in touch about producing a show! It is our belief that a diversity of voices on stage makes for better comedy and it is our hope to be a home for as many acts as possible.
Booking Contact Form
You may also email us: [email protected]. Be aware that due to the volume of submissions, we cannot answer all messages, nor can we in any way guarantee you a show.
All show submissions and booking requests are sent to our Booking Committee for review.
Late Night Shows
CCB is encouraging more playfulness, diversity, and experimentation to the CCB stage by booking Late Night Shows, 11pm every Friday. (Financial) expectations are low, and the possibilities (almost) endless (limited by the code of conduct and official law).
Pitch us an idea for either a 20-25 minute set/show for a split-show or a 50-60 minute complete show. You should be excited to get your idea on stage, but not worry if it’s a massive success or a celebrated failure. Try it out! See what happens! Go crazy! Dare to do something new!
What do we expect? What can you expect?
We’re looking for experimental shows and new formats. That crazy high concept show you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the opportunity. The weird idea you’ve had forever but been too afraid to get on stage. The show you’ve run a few times but haven’t been able to get off the ground yet.
This will NOT be a space to run yet another stand-up open mic or stand-up showcase. Improv shows are welcome but should be doing something new. Stand up solo shows will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis but should also be doing something new for best chances at getting booked. Keep in mind that the bar will be running and there might be some background noise.
You can choose to run the show with free entry or have it be ticketed (subject to standard CCB artist split).
Shows that do well and catch our eye will be invited to move to a ticketed spot in the CCB schedule in the future. Shows that still need some work are welcome to apply again for another late night spot; Booking Committee members can give you constructive notes on your show if you so desire.
How do I sign up?
Fill out our form and we will get back to you! We’ll be looking for original ideas, fun/absurd premises, unheard voices and more than anything, a vision that you can pull the show off. Also, your show and all performers in it should meet our Code of Conduct and theatre ethos. All improv performers should also meet requirements laid out on our Performing at CCB page. Please keep in mind that ultimately we will be exercising our own discretion as a Booking Committee when booking shows.
Questions? Talk to your Booking Committee!