In March 2023, the Café Theater Festival will once again take over the cites of Utrecht, Arnhem and Rotterdam. Up-and-coming performing artists looking to perform in front of a large and diverse crowd can now respond to the open call. The CTF focuses on professional performing artists who are at the beginning of their careers and who are interested in creating intimate performances to be performed in a variety of hospitality establishments. The CTF aims to further increase diversity in its program and invites performing artists of all different backgrounds and styles to apply.

Application Form

You can apply to perform at the Cafè Theater Festival from August 31 to October 3. Before applying, please read the information below.

You’ll find the application form here!

Do you have an idea, but want to go over it with our programmers first? Contact us at programmering@cafetheaterfestival.nl and we can have a chat about it.

Information and Terms

You apply by submitting a concept for a performance. If selected, you will get access to your own artistic coach as well as workshops aimed at your artistic and entrepreneurial development.

Your concept must be tailored to the context of a bar, coffee house or other hospitality establishment. All genres are welcome, including children’s theatre (provided it is suitable for all ages). Performances in English are also welcome.

The Selection Process

You can apply from August 31 to October 3 2022 via the application form. There you will be asked to submit your performance concept, in the form of a text or a video. The form will guide you through the process step by step.

You will find out if you have been selected for the second round on October 6. If so, you will be invited for a meeting, during which you’ll get a chance to perform aspects of your concept live and in person. Those meetings will take place on October 13, 14, 17, 18 and 19.

On October 25, the final selection will be announced. The programmers will then decide who will play in which hospitality establishment.

The Development Process

Make sure your team does not consist of more than 8 people, including a max. of 6 performers.
You will develop a performance of 15 to 30 minutes.

The CTF will provide you guidance during the development process, consisting of conversations, workshops, coaching and rehearsal visits.

The Festival

The CTF in Utrecht will take place from March 2 to 5 2022.
Over the course of those days, you will perform 8 to 10 times in total.
It’s important that your whole team is available for the full duration of the festival.
The week before the festival, there will be trial runs, on February 25, 26 and 28.


You will receive a compensation that will be determined as follows:

Per performer, there will be a compensation of €500. Next to that, each solo performer or group gets one extra compensation for someone like a director or a costume designer. This means that in actuality, a solo performer will receive a compensation of €1000, a duo will receive €1500 and so forth. The maximum compensation is €3500 for a group of 6 performers.

During the festival, catering will be provided. For those that don’t live in the province of Utrecht, accommodation and a partial travel cost compensation will be provided as well.

Arnhem & Rotterdam

After successful pilots in 2022, the CTF 2023 will also take place in Rotterdam and Arnhem, in addition to its Utrecht edition. A large part of the program in these cities will consist of performances that can also be seen in Utrecht. In the application form you can indicate whether you would be available to perform in Rotterdam and/or Arnhem as well.

Additional compensations are available for performances in Arnhem and/or Rotterdam. For this we use the same system as for the festival in Utrecht. Only because the festivals in Rotterdam and Arnhem cover two days instead of four, the compensation is €250 per performer plus one. So a solo performer gets a compensation of €500, a duo €750, and so on, up to a group of 6 performers, which gets a compensation of €1750.