In 2024, 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. Solo performers and groups with up to 6 members are allowed. All genres are welcome, as are non-Dutch performances.

Application Form

You can apply to perform at the Cafè Theater Festival from 5 September to 2 October. 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 (or other languages) are also welcome.

The Selection Process

You can apply from 5 September to 2 October 2023 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 10, 11, 17, 18 and 19 October.

On 23 October, 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. Artist Days, featuring workshops and activities, will happen on 11 November, 20 January and 17 February.

The Festival

It’s important that your whole team is available for the full duration of the festival(s) (incl. try-outs).

The CTF in Utrecht will take place from 29 Febraury to 3 March 2024. The try-outs will take place on 24, 25 and 27 February. On 19 and 20 February there will be public sharing moments..

The CTF in Arnhem will take place on 15 and 16 March 2024. The try-outs will take place on 12 and 13 March.

The CTF in Rotterdam will take place on 22 and 23 March 2023. The try-outs will take place on 19 and 20 March.



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.

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

Arnhem & Rotterdam

For the CTF editions in Rotterdam and Arnhem, compensations are also available. Since the festivals have half the number days, the compensation is half of the compensation for the CTF in Utrecht. That means that there is a compensation of €250 per performer. Additionally, for each group, an extra compensation of €500 is added, for example, for a director, dramaturge, or costume designer. Thus, a solo performance receives a compensation of €500, a performance with two performers €750, and so on, increasing up to a performance with six performers, which receives a compensation of €1750.

Catering will be provided.

We also recommend applying for additional subsidies and grants. The CTF can provide advice and guidance in this regard.