Terms & School Policies

Definitions

  • CCBTS – The CCB Training School
  • Student – Any currently enrolled student
  • Instructor – Official CCBTS staff instructors, as listed on our Instructors page
  • Guest Instructor – Any out-of-town or local guest instructors teaching a workshop or course through CCBTS
  • School Directors – Current School administrators: Co-Director Josh Telson and Co-Director Noah Telson
  • Improv show – For the purposes of these policies, any show tagged as ‘improv’ on the Comedy Café Berlin program: https://comedycafeberlin.com/schedule
  • Sketch show – For the purposes of these policies, any show tagged as ‘sketch’ on the Comedy Café Berlin program: https://comedycafeberlin.com/schedule
  • Program – A curriculum track focusing on a specific comedic discipline. To date, CCBTS offers instruction in an Improv Program and a Sketch Program.
  • Course – A series of classes based around a structured curriculum and syllabus. Our courses typically consist of 8 classes over 8 weeks.
  • Class – An individual part of a course. Our classes are typically 2.5 (two and a half) hours long.
  • Workshop – A one-off focused session on a particular style, format or discipline that supplements our core curriculum. 

Enrollment Policies

All students wishing to enroll in courses at The CCB Training School (“CCBTS”) must agree to the following enrollment policies.

  • By registering for a course, you acknowledge having read and agreed to these policies in full.
  • Students will abide by the Student and Teacher Code of Conduct and Community Code of Conduct (please click through to read).
  • Students must pay for course tuition in full (or be enrolled in our Work Study Program) in order to guarantee registration & a spot in a course.
  • Students agree to our attendance and tardiness policies, as outlined below.
  • Improv students must see at least one Friday night improv show and participate in one Thursday night jam during the duration of their course.
  • Students agree to our cancellation/refund policy, as outlined below.
  • For all courses beyond Level 1, students agree to our prerequisite & waiver system, as outlined below.

Evaluation

We grade students on a simple Pass/Incomplete system. To pass a class, most students simply need to adhere to our School Policies. Insufficient attendance or consistent tardiness are the most common reasons why students will receive an Incomplete mark and be required to retake a course before continuing to the next level in the curriculum. In rare cases, instructors may decide, in consultation with School Directors, to require a student to retake a course for other reasons, including, but not limited to, a lack of progress on the part of the student.

We offer consistent and constructive feedback to all students during and after each course and expect students to adjust to notes and better their level of play. 

A brief written evaluation by the course instructor will be sent to each student within two weeks of the last class of a course. This evaluation is based on in-class notes and observations by the instructor and is intended to help students analyze and understand their performance, strengths and areas for improvement. Individual instructors may also choose, at their own discretion, to offer in-person feedback. This should be seen as an optional benefit and should not be expected.

Any questions or concerns regarding evaluations should be directed at the School Directors.

Failing a course

Any student

  • missing more than 6 out of 8 classes in any 8 class course
  • or more than 15 minutes late to 4 out of 8 classes in any 8 class course

will automatically receive an Incomplete mark.

Additionally, instructors are expected to mark any student who fundamentally does not comprehend course concepts an Incomplete mark. In these instances, students should be at such a level that their attendance in further courses will be a hindrance to the progress of other students. All Incomplete marks at the discretion of the instructor should be considered final. Any questions or concerns should be addressed to the School Directors.

Incomplete marks as a result of attendance or lack of student comprehension simply mean students will need to retake the course.

Failing to adhere to the Code of Conduct or exhibiting misconduct as outlined below in our Misconduct policies may result not only in an Incomplete mark, but in an immediate suspension of the student from the course and a prohibition from taking further courses or workshops at CCBTS. In these instances, the School Directors will review the student’s behavior through discussions with the appropriate course instructor(s) and the student to determine the appropriate course of action.

Special requirements for certain courses

Certain courses may include additional requirements for successfully completing the course and receiving a Pass mark (e.g. participating in the Sketch Student Show is necessarily a requirement for successful completion of Sketch 201 – Developing a Sketch Show).  In these cases, the course description will clearly and specifically state these additional requirements.

Attendance/Tardiness

Students are expected to attend all classes in any course. Up to two (2) classes can be missed due to emergencies or unforeseen circumstances; students with more than 2 absences in any given course will receive an Incomplete mark for that course. Additionally, students are expected to be on time for each class. On time means you are ready to begin class at the scheduled start time – if you need a few minutes to settle in you are responsible for arriving early enough to be ready to start on time. Students more than 15 minutes late for any class will be marked as Late; students with more than four (4) Late marks in any given course will receive an Incomplete mark for that course.

Students receiving an Incomplete mark for attendance/tardiness issues may be asked not to perform in the Student Show (see below).

Good attendance and punctuality are not only beneficial for individual student progress, but foster a sense of community and team spirit among all students in a course, which we feel is an integral part of learning and performing good improv. Showing up and showing up on time also show us and your fellow students you are committed to learning and performing!

Missing more than 6 out of 8 classes will inherently mean the student has not received enough class time to absorb course concepts and theories; consistent tardiness likewise means the student has not been able to absorb sufficient course concepts and theories. In these cases retaking the course is both in the student’s best interest, and in the best interest of fellow students’ progress.

Transcripts/Course records

The CCBTS maintains an online database of student records, including student evaluations, attendance and registration records, and personal information submitted by students during registration necessary to track student progress.

Any current or former student may request a full copy of their student transcript/records by writing to [email protected].

In accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation, any student can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about the student. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes. Please be aware that if you are a student and request your data be erased, you will no longer be able to:

  • register for courses beyond Level 1 as they require prerequisite verification information stored in your account.
  • audition for House Harold Teams as they require evaluation history in order to fully evaluate a student’s abilities.

To request deletion of personal data, you must send a complete request in writing to [email protected]

Cancellations/Refunds/Switching courses

We do not offer refunds for any courses or workshops, excepting cases in which a course or workshop must be cancelled (see below). 

We keep our course and workshop prices low to allow as many students as possible to learn the art & fun of improv. To keep administrative costs down, and generally be fair to all students and would-be students, we do not offer refunds once a course or workshop registration has been purchased. Please keep this in mind before registering!

In the case of course or workshop cancellation, registered students will be notified via email and will receive a full refund to the original method of payment.

In cases of course suspension due to misconduct, the School Directors will evaluate on a case by case basis whether course/workshop registration payments will be refunded and to which degree.

Switching courses is handled on a case by case basis and at the discretion of the School Directors. Students wishing to switch courses may request to do so in writing to [email protected] before the start of a course. Please keep in mind that students must still meet all prerequisites for the new course, and that requesting a switch in no way guarantees a switch is possible.

Please note, due to the nature of workshops (particularly workshops by guest instructors from out of town) we are unable to allow students to switch workshops.

Course prerequisites

All students must begin their studies at Level 1 (currently Intro to Improv). Upon satisfactory completion of Level 1 (you receive a Pass mark from your instructor), you may continue on to any Level 2 courses in that Program.

Students must complete and pass all courses in any given Program Level in order to advance to taking courses in a higher level.

Students may register for a course before meeting course prerequisites provided the prerequisites will be met by the time the course starts (e.g., a student attending 101 Intro to Improv, and who knows they will be eligible to receive a Pass mark, may register for an Improv Level 2 course before completing 101, provided the Level 2 course starts after 101 finishes). If a student is unsure of their progress and whether they will be eligible to enroll in further courses, they should consult their instructor for guidance.

Upon satisfactory completion of Improv Level 3 courses, students are eligible to audition for House Harold teams and to take most Electives, Level 4 and Advanced Study courses.

Upon satisfactory completion of Sketch Level 2 courses, students are eligible to audition for House Sketch teams.

Courses can be completed in either English or German (where available).

Previous training waivers

We waive course prerequisites on a case by case basis. If you feel that you have sufficient training in improv to attend Level 2 and beyond courses, you must apply for a prerequisite waiver in writing to [email protected]. Final decision on granting a waiver is at the discretion of the School Directors and must be obtained, in writing, before a student registers for a class without meeting prerequisites.

Rush tickets

All students enrolled in a course at CCBTS receive free rush tickets to any improv show at Comedy Café Berlin while enrolled in a course. 

Additionally, students enrolled in a Sketch program course receive free rush tickets to any sketch show at Comedy Café Berlin while enrolled in the course. 

Rush tickets allow students to take a seat after all paying customers have been seated, or to watch a show in standing room if all seats are occupied. Please note, rush tickets do not guarantee entry to a show. In cases where standing room is full, students with rush tickets may be unable to see a show.

Any student who has been suspended will have their rush ticket privileges revoked.

Rush tickets are only valid for the duration of the enrolled course and only after a student has paid for the course in full.

Improv Student Show

It is our belief that improv is a performing art and as such we aim to teach improv for performance. The goal of each course is not only to instruct students in the art of improv comedy, but to prepare them to perform on stage. This does not mean that students must all become performers, or must desire to become performers; we simply believe that the best way to learn and benefit from improv is to learn it as a performing art.

To that end, all courses conclude with a Student Show. Student Show dates & times will be provided to students within 2 weeks of the start of class (if not available beforehand). With rare exception, Student Shows take place at Comedy Café Berlin. They are open to the public for free, and we encourage students to invite family & friends to the show.

Students who receive an Incomplete mark due to attendance/tardiness may, at the instructor’s discretion, not be able to perform in the Student Show.

Sketch Student Show

While our Sketch 101 (Intro to Sketch) course is a writing course, and therefore does not include a student show, our Sketch 201 (Developing a Sketch Show) course is specifically oriented towards putting on a show. 

Sketch 201, therefore, concludes with a fully-produced Student Show. Students are expected to dedicate writing, production and rehearsal time outside of class towards the Student Show. While instructors are on hand to guide and direct students through this process, students should expect to be producing the show themselves.

Student Show dates & times will be provided to students within 2 weeks of the start of class (if not available beforehand). With rare exception, Student Shows take place at Comedy Café Berlin. They are open to the public for free, and we encourage students to invite family & friends to the show.

Participating in the Sketch Student Show is necessarily a requirement for successful completion of Sketch 201 – Developing a Sketch Show.

Students who receive an Incomplete mark due to attendance/tardiness may, at the instructor’s discretion, not be able to perform in the Student Show.

Guest Workshops/Courses

We regularly host guest workshops, and on occasion guest courses. These are run by guest instructors from theaters and schools across the globe and we highly encourage our students to register for as many of these as possible, as they are an excellent way to enrich one’s improv education and toolset.

We carefully select guest workshops and courses for their benefit to our community. We ask all guest instructors to adhere to our Student & Teacher Code of Conduct and Community Code of Conduct and have of them the same expectations we have of our staff instructors. Any issues with guest workshop material or with guest instructors should be addressed to School Directors or Community Liaisons and will be addressed seriously and appropriately; however, CCBTS can assume no responsibility for guest workshops, courses or instructors.

Misconduct

CCB and CCBTS do not tolerate discriminatory behavior, misconduct or harassment of any kind. The following Misconduct Policy applies to all CCBTS staff and students enrolled at CCBTS and further clarifies our Student & Teacher Code of Conduct.

The CCBTS firmly believes that every student has the right to learn improv in an open, safe and respectful environment.

No student of CCBTS should be made to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable due to their race, sexual preference, gender or gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, age, disability, religious beliefs, or identity in any way.

Sensitive and risky subject matter should be treated carefully, creatively and with emotional intelligence, and all content relating to race, sexual preference, gender or gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, age, disability, religious beliefs, or identity should never be done in the spirit of disrespect or mockery.

The trust and support of students and instructors is of utmost importance in scene work. If any student ever feels unsafe, they should feel free to stop the scene and should not be made to feel bad for doing so.

All students should remember that CCBTS is a forum for learning improv and not a dating platform; fellow students are here to learn and perform first and foremost, not to be asked out or hit on.

Any student or member of staff found to be in violation of this misconduct policy will be immediately suspended and, at the discretion of School Directors, prohibited from enrolling in further CCBTS courses or workshops and/or entering Comedy Café Berlin premises. Comedy Café Berlin and The CCB Training School are private enterprises and as such reserve the right to suspend and prohibit students based on the discretion of CCB management or CCBTS School Directors outside of any policies outlined herein.

CCBTS takes improv and comedy seriously and we believe that all students and instructors should have full freedom of expression as they learn and explore the art of improv; instructors are on hand to gently guide students through this in a responsible and respectful manner, even with creative work that could be seen as ‘blue’ or adult-only and would be out-of-place in an ordinary workplace. However, students and instructors should not mistake freedom of expression as a means or excuse to say or take any action that could fall under the following areas of misconduct or harassment. There is a difference between material that could, in some cases, be seen as offensive, and material that is designed to deliberately target or harass a particular individual or individuals, or a specific group or identity. Remember that If your humor must attack someone, make it the establishment and not the downtrodden or historically oppressed!

Misconduct

Misconduct is defined as any of the following actions:

  • Actions which endanger the life or safety of another person, intentional or otherwise;
  • Fighting (or provoking of fights), horseplay, or damage to Comedy Café Berlin/CCBTS property, whether negligent or otherwise;
  • Demonstrating a violent propensity through behavior, conduct or threats of such whether on or off CCBTS premises;
  • Unauthorized possession/use of weapons of any kind on Comedy Café Berlin/CCBTS property, premises or places of operation;
  • Engaging in criminal activity or acts of violence or making threats of violence toward anyone on Comedy Café Berlin premises or when representing CCBTS;
  • Threatening or intimidating any staff, employee, instructor, performer or student on or off Comedy Café Berlin/CCBTS premises;
  • Destruction or damage of property, or the property of staff, employees, instructors, performers, students or visitors in any manner, intentional or otherwise;
  • Theft of Comedy Café Berlin/CCBTS property or the property of staff, employees, instructors, performers or students, including the unauthorized removal, possession or duplication of property (such as documents) from the premises without prior permission from School Directors; 
  • Unauthorized use of equipment or property for personal reasons, and/or using Comedy Café Berlin/CCBTS’s equipment for profit;
  • Any use, or attempted use, by staff or instructors of their position and authority for personal gain, whether financial, business, political or otherwise;
  • Being intoxicated while in a class, a class practice or during a class performance;
  • Any romantic and/or sexual relationship between a student and instructor where they are currently instructing such student in a course;
  • Any form of retaliation for filing a complaint under this policy or for assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding or hearing.

Harassment

Harassment is conduct of any kind (verbal, digital, or physical), including written, spoken or visual material that puts down, shows hostility, and/or aversion toward an individual or group because of their race, sexual preference, gender or gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, age, disability, religious beliefs, or identity in any way. 

Harassment can further be defined by any conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or uncomfortable working, educational or performance environment, and/or that negatively affects an individual or group’s educational, performance, or employment opportunities.

Harassment includes but is not limited to: Sexual Harassment, Stalking and Sexual Assault

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as offensive or humiliating behaviour that is related to a person’s sex, gender or gender-identity, or behaviour of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, unwelcome, hostile or offensive educational, performance, or work environment,  or that could reasonably be thought to put sexual conditions on a person’s performance or employment opportunities.

Stalking

Stalking is defined as conduct of any kind (verbal, digital, or physical) directed at an individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking involves repeated harassment made against the expressed wishes of another individual, which causes that individual to feel emotional distress of any kind, including, without limitation, fear and apprehension.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined as any non-consensual, intentional physical contact of a sexual nature, such as, but not limited to, unwanted physical contact with a person’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts. Sexual assault occurs when the act is committed by: a) physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, implied or otherwise; b) ignoring the objections of another person; c) causing another’s intoxication or impairment through the use of alcohol or other drugs; and/or d) taking advantage of another person’s incapacitation, helplessness, or other inability to consent.

Examples of Misconduct

In an effort to make our misconduct policy as clear as possible, the following is a non-exhaustive and non-exclusive list of examples of misconduct.

Examples of General Misconduct:

  • Using an actual weapon in scene work (ie, pulling out an actual knife in a scene);
  • Throwing actual props (ie, a chair) without warning or consent;
  • An instructor requiring students to volunteer or participate on projects outside of the School as an expressed or implied condition of their education;
  • A student or instructor pursuing a romantic relationship with another student or instructor.

Examples of Harassment:

  • Repeated, deliberate reference to a performer’s actual race regardless of the race of their character;
  • Referencing actual or implied specific staff, instructors, or students (non-public figures) in a derogatory or insulting manner during a performance;
  • Getting in, or attempting to get in, the vehicle or taxi of staff, an instructor or another student;
  • Derogatory remarks about a person based on their identity in any way (ie, remarks about a person’s gender or gender identity, remarks about a person’s sexual orientation, remarks about a person’s ethnicity perceived or otherwise, etc.);
  • Retaliation for filing of a formal complaint, or for participating in the investigation of a complaint in any way.

Examples of Sexual Harassment:

  • Pressure for a date or a romantic or intimate relationship;
  • Offensive or unnecessary and unwanted references to parts of the body;
  • Obscene gestures of a sexual or gender-based nature;
  • Unwanted touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging.

Examples of Stalking:

  • Following someone else home from class, practice, or a show;
  • Surveillance or other types of observation, including invasion of digital privacy or videotaping or photographing an individual without their expressed consent;
  • Unwanted communication or contact – including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, electronic messages, text messages, written letters, social media messages, etc.;
  • Sending unwanted gifts (ie, flowers);
  • Trespassing, property damage;

Examples of Sexual Assault:

  • Non-consensual, intentional physical contact of a sexual nature;
  • Sexual contact of any kind when the other person is unable to consent, due to intoxication or otherwise.

Complaints & Reporting Misconduct

All complaints and concerns are taken seriously by CCBTS. 

All staff instructors and administrators are obliged to act on any report of misconduct or harassment, or to report any acts of misconduct or harassment they have witnessed.

Reports should be specific, as detailed as possible and truthful. Reports should include specific charges, details of the incident or incidents, names of the individuals involved, the names of any witnesses and any other evidence in support of the complaint.

In any case where there is a reasonable suspicion or evidence that criminal actions may have occurred or are occurring, in addition to the reporting process described herein, School Directors, staff, and Community Liaisons (outlined below), may be obligated to report such actions to law enforcement authorities and to forward all applicable evidence to such law enforcement authority with respect to such actions.

If you have a complaint, concern, or would like to report incidents of misconduct or harassment about a fellow improviser, comedian, instructor, audience member, or member of staff we encourage you to contact School Directors or our Community Liaisons as outlined here:

Anonymous Complaints & Reporting

CCBTS will investigate and address complaints and incidents of misconduct reported anonymously, but please be aware that CCBTS may be unable to investigate or address these reports fully due to their anonymous nature.

CCBTS encourages all students and teachers to feel comfortable reporting any issues directly.

3rd Party Reporting

CCBTS will investigate and address complaints and incidents of misconduct reported by a 3rd party, but please be aware that CCBTS may be limited in its ability to investigate or act on these reports.

Community Liaisons

To make reporting complaints or misconduct as comfortable for students as possible, in addition to School Directors, we have engaged with members of our community to act as Liaisons. Liaisons may be a point of first contact to report any complaints, concerns, or incidents of misconduct and will act as representatives of CCBTS in that capacity. Liaisons will treat all reports confidentially and act in the reporting students’ best interest, but please be aware that investigations and actions addressing incidents of misconduct may necessarily involve School Directors. As described above, Liaisons may additionally be required to report incidents to law enforcement.

Points of contact for complaints & reporting

CCBTS Administration:

Community Liaisons:

  • Antonia Bär, instructor, co-host of The Hedge and It’s That Time of the Month (native German speaker): [email protected]
  • Nicole Ratjen, instructor, member of It’s That Time of the Month and GLB, (native German speaker): [email protected]
  • Prabhath Pillai, co-host of The Hedge: [email protected]