Because Improv involves saying the first thing that comes to mind, it can surface our biases, however unconscious. At Instant Improv, when problematic assumptions and stereotypes appear in our games or scenes, we take that as an opportunity to learn.
At the end of every class or show, we engage in a feedback round where our students and audience are invited to share if something made them feel erased, stereotyped or unsafe, and we discuss how we can do better. Of course, that feedback is also welcome anonymously, either through the feedback box at the venue or the feedback box at the bottom of this page.
In this way, we hope to become not only better improvisers, but better people.
Instant Improv and Instant Theatre Berlin are dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices on Berlin's stages. We offer two free-of-charge spots in each of our classes for members of under-represented groups or marginalized communities. If you wish to apply for one of these scholarships, please see HERE.
All of our staff and students agree to a Code of Conduct before working or taking classes with us, and we will happily remove customers who are engaging in any kind of intolerance or harassment.
Please note that our venue is not yet wheelchair-accessible. This is something we will rectify as soon as we can afford the needed renovations.
When We Fall Short
If a member of our community or Staff violates the Code of Conduct or otherwise makes you feel unsafe you may take any or all of the following steps:
1. Let a(nother) member of Staff know directly. You may also use the following code-words (h/t: karada-house.de):
a. "Yellow" = "Please keep an eye on this person." Someone makes you feel uncomfortable (e.g. staring, too close, etc.), your gut feeling tells you something isn't right. We won't judge you, we'll trust you and keep an eye on the person. We will witness with and/or for you. You may choose to engage with this person or not.
b. "Orange" = "Something has happened that can be interpreted as non-consensual or inappropriate behaviour but may fall within the "gray area" where it *could* be interpreted otherwise (e.g. misunderstanding). It makes you feel very uncomfortable. Don‘t question your intuition. Come to us. We will talk to the person and tell them that their behaviour makes others uncomfortable. We request that they stop engaging in any interactions immediately to reconsider and change their behaviour. Otherwise they will be removed from the space. You stop engaging with this person.
C. "Red" = A clear cut violation of the Code of Conduct, consent, and/or boundaries. We immediately remove this person from the space. An accountability process will be initiated a few days later.
3. Let our Community Liaison know at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Let our Community Liaison know anonymously by using the Feedback box at the venue.
5. Let our Community Liaison know anonymously by using the Feedback box on this page, below.
What Will Happen Then:
Our Staff will take appropriate immediate action as needed possibly including:
1. Removing the person from the premises or sending the Staff member home.
2. Calling you a taxi or arranging for an escort to public transit.
3. Involving the police (only with your consent).
Our Community Liaison will, in consultation with you where possible, take additional action as needed, possibly including:
1. Requiring an apology, in person or on this website, acknowledging the harm caused and detailing the steps the person will take to ensure it doesn't happen again.
2. Exclusion of the member from the community, either temporarily or permanently.
3. Requiring the Staff member to take an anti-oppression class.
4. A written warning in the Staff member's personnel file.
Smo Sienkiewicz is our first Community Liaison. Being a Slav, an immigrant, a non-binary person with mental health issues, and having made a number of non-conforming life choices, Smo has firsthand experience with a range of discriminatory behaviours. S/he cares deeply about mindful and compassionate community-building. Smo has professional experience in outreach and community management with Hydra e.V. and Berliner Stadtmission. S/he is involved in activism around the topics of Sex Work and reproductive rights.