Tyra Tønnessen

Born18 May. 1967

About Tyra Tønnessen

Tyra Tønnessen (born May 18 1967) is a Norwegian theatre director.

Tyra Tønnessen was educated as a director at The National Academy of Theatre, graduating in 2000. She is a doctor in acting (Oslo National Academy of the Arts), and she also has a cand. mag degree from the universities of Oslo, Trondheim and Tromsø with the subjects of literature, history and drama, movie and theatre.

While studying in Tromsø she started working for Hålogaland Theatre, and prior to her education as a director she had been a stage manager, a prompter, prop master, stage technician, director's assistant and actress (a role in Ronia, the Robber's Daughter).

Read more


View all

  • Images (0)
  • Video (0)
  • Audio (0)
  • Files (0)


    View less

    View all

    More about Tyra Tønnessen

    After graduating from The National Academy of Theatre Tyra Tønnessen had great success at Trøndelag Theatre with Mother Courage, which was nominated for The Hedda Award in the best production category as well as the best direction category in 2002.

    At Trøndelag Theatre she also staged Banrøv (the title is a dialect expression for a rookie, literally meaning Child's ass) by Anita Haarberg (2002) and Rock'n Roll Wolf (2011), among other things.

    For The National Theatre she has directed Schiller's Mary Stuart (2004), Nathalie Sarraute's Just for Nothing (2006), the musical Rock'n Roll Wolf (2011), and Fredrik Brattberg's The Returning (2012).

     For The Norwegian Theatre the productions she has directed include Duck Hunting by Aleksandr Vampilov (2002) and The Castle by Kafka (2008).

    At Hålogaland Theatre she has staged Strindberg's The Dance of Death, nominated for The Hedda Award in the production of the year category in 2003, A Doll's House in a double edition, turning the gender roles upside-down in one of the versions (2008), and Benoni and Rosa, the theatre's opening performance in the new theatre building in 2005, among other things.

    In 2003 and 2004 she had - as the first woman - the responsibility for the most national of all our outdoors spectacles, The Saint Olav Drama in Stiklestad.

    Again Tyra Tønnessen was nominated for The Hedda Award in 2005 in the best direction category for The Slope by Carl Frode Tiller, The Norwegian Theatre, Hålogaland Theatre and Nomade Produksjoner.

    Tyra Tønnessen won The Hedda Award 2014 in the best direction category for her direction of Ekte kjærlighet* (True Love). Freely based on Camilla Collett by Tyra Tønnessen, produced by Agder Theatre and for her direction of The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, produced by Trøndelag Theatre. At the same time the production The Visit was nominated for The Hedda Award in the production of the year category.

    The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the best direction award:

    "Good direction demands a clear idea. It demands a coherent concept. It demands a readable, unique and accessible performance expression for just this concept. The director has to grab hold of the material, knead it and shape it. Then the first reading rehearsal comes along, and the process needs to start over, for now as joint work. If the concept doesn't reach the actors, into them, it will never reach the audience.

    This is no simple process. Friction creates heat. In the melting pot the rehearsal period may be the director's ideas are tested, at the same time as the play and the roles are handed over to the actors.

    The recipient of this year's direction award demonstrates a strong will. Her productions document thorough and distinct work, control over the totality as well as the details, whether the direction is adjusted to the text or the text shaped according to the direction's idea.

    This year the direction award is given to an instructor not for one, but two, works, which together prove the range of the director's ambitions and competence.

    This year's best direction award goes to Tyra Tønnessen."

    The autumn of 2014 Tyra Tønnessen directed Ibsen's When we dead awaken for Trøndelag Theatre. The production received four nominations for The Hedda Award 2015 and won one of the awards. It was nominated in the production of the year category. Tyra Tønnessen was nominated in the best direction category and Renate Reinsve was nominated in the best supporting actress category for the role of Maja Rubek. Bård Lie Thorbjørnsen won the award in the best stage design/costume design category.

    Påfuglen - en urettferdig musikal* (The peacock - an unfair musical), written by Tyra Tønnessen and Jovan Pavlovic and directed by Tønnessen, also at Trøndelag Theatre, was nominated for The Hedda Award in the best production for children and youth category the same year.

    Tønnessen was nominated for The Norwegian Ibsen Award 2016 for the text for Påfuglen.


    Sceneweb on The Hedda Award 2005, www.sceneweb.no, 17.10.2012, http://www.sceneweb.no/en/awarding/23849/The_Hedda_Award_2005-2005

    Store Norske Leksikon on Tyra Tønnessen, www.snl.no, 29.10.2012, http://snl.no/Tyra_Bondevik_T%C3%B8nnessen

    The National Theatre on Tyra Tønnessen, www.nationaltheatret.no, 29.10.2012, http://fdb.nationaltheatret.no/S%C3%B8k/tabid/57/ctl/ViewPerson/mid/374/personId/1ba4d602-3ee6-4ab2-bf87-952e3d15144a/Default.aspx

    The Hedda Award, heddaprisen.no, 19.05.2014, http://www.heddaprisen.no/pub/heddaprisen/main/?aid=1215

    The Hedda Award 2014, www.heddaprisen.no, 16.06.2014, http://www.heddaprisen.no/pub/heddaprisen/main/?aid=1266

    The Hedda Award 2015, heddaprisen.no, 20.05.2015, http://www.heddaprisen.no/pub/heddaprisen/main/?aid=1306

    Ibsen Awards, www.ibsenawards.com, 30.03.16, http://www.ibsenawards.com/nyheter/vinner-ibsenpris-2016

    *Not yet translated into the English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.

    All involvement