Facts about the program

Study points:
Study duration:
3 years
Teaching language:
Fredrikstad, Norway


Programme Coordinator
Norwegian Theatre Academy,
Artistic director, Acting, Dr Karmenlara Ely Seidman Main teacher: Dr Electa Behrens
Norwegian version of this page

Study Plan for Bachelor in Acting (2019–2022)

Study information

Scenic arts studies

The Norwegian Theatre Academy (NTA) offers two different study programmes leading to a bachelor's degree in acting or scenography. The aim is to train specialized theatre artists within the field of scenic arts who can combine skills, knowledge and methods from conceptual visual art and architecture with skills, techniques and methods from contemporary theatre and performance.

The programme requires students to participate in complex, experimental theatre and other visual arts productions, as well as in continuous skills training. Students are required to gain distinct awareness of methods in relation to a variety of production processes. It is an important goal to educate professional artists who can work both collectively and independently, and have a reflective and analytical relation to different forms of theatre expressions within the arts and the artist's role and responsibility in society.

The artistic profile of the programme

The artistic profile of the programme is inspired by international visual and theatre art in which the perception of images, space, sound and bodily awareness are central elements. Scenic arts experimenting with theatre, performance, scenography in the expanded field.

The programmes focus on different forms of interaction between scenography (space) and acting (human beings and their actions) and on creating genuine artistic collaboration between students in both disciplines. The interdisciplinary process is implemented through meetings and collaborations between artists, professionals and students from different cultures and artistic backgrounds. All bachelor's degree students at NTA participate in experimental workshops and devise complex theatre and other spatial art productions with emerging and internationally renovned guest artists. Students are expected to develop a strong awareness of diverse methods and production strategies as they develop their own approach in relation to the various processes they get acquainted with during the three years of study. NTA trains professional artists who can work collaboratively across disciplines, both independently and in ensembles: students are expected to develop an original, articulate and analytical attitude to the performing arts in its different forms.

A large part of the education is research based in terms of collaboration with professional artists and experts and/or at professional venues. The programme establishes a basic understanding of the Norwegian Artistic Research field, and binds course components and workshops into NTA’s Artistic Research projects portfolio, undertaken and led by NTA’s artistic staff. The programme promotes an understanding of artistic research as a field.

What do you learn?

Degree/title obtained

Bachelor in Acting

Learning outcomes

The Bachelor programme in acting educates actors who can work independently on their own theatrical productions and/or other performative functions of productions in the expanded field staged by directors, choreographers or other artists.

A candidate who has completed his or her qualification should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The candidate has acquired:

  • critical and practical perspective on the various foundational tools and methods of experimentation within the contemporary acting field and related theories

  • knowledge in terms of history and theory of various art fields related to the performing arts (history & theory)

  • the knowledge to put artistic intentions and critical reflections of his/her own and others' art works into words and to write applications for funding (critical reflection & application writing)

  • a deeper theoretical and practical knowledge of laboratory methods for working in space as an actor: including the impact of decisions made around light, sound, composition in space and collaboration with materials

The candidate has acquired:

  • the ability to collaboratively conceive, develop and communicate artistic concepts

  • the knowledge to develop an artistic concept based on a given or independently chosen topic (concept development)

  • the knowledge to structure, organise and follow up the process of creating and realizing an art work (project planning)

  • the knowledge of independently creating a holistic performing arts project from the conception to implementation and realization (realization of artistic concept)

General competence
The candidate has acquired:

  • the knowledge of working methods of other related art fields and how these can be used to widen one's respective field of study (interdisciplinarity)

  • the knowledge to bring theory and practice into balance while continuously reflecting both sides (theory & practice)

  • the knowledge of collaborating in small structures with other artists, curators, technicians, etc in a symbiotic process while maintaining respect for all involved parties and being aware of all components of a work of performing arts (collaboration & ethics)


The admission is by practical auditions.

It is a requirement that the applicant must be 18 years or older in the admission year.

Structure and content

Content and structure of the programme

All the courses in the programme are mandatory. The programme has four areas of study featuring:
Skills, Methods, Laboratories and Productions.

Each course consists of a number of topics:
Skills consists of the topics:

  • Composition

  • Improvisation

  • Body

  • Voice

Methods consists of the topics:

  • Art- and Theatre History and Theory

  • Art- and Theatre Analysis

  • Conceptual Development

  • Project Planning,

Laboratories consists of the topics:

  • Materiality

  • Space

  • Sound

  • Light

Productions consists of the topics:

  • Independent Productions

  • Directed Productions

The organisation and allocation of the courses in the programme, the course components and study periods reflects the structure described above.

Please note the structure of the programme below concerning the organisation of courses and credits acquired in semesters throughout the programme.

All courses in the first semester must be passed before students can proceed to the second semester, and all courses in the second semester must be passed before students may proceed to the third semester, etc.

Teaching, learning and evaluation

The constant practicing of Skills and Methods are mainly ensured by artists associated with the University College. Laboratories and Productions are usually led by Norwegian and international artists and other relevant experts.

Teaching is normally planned semester by semester. This is based partly on an assessment of the students' progress and needs, partly on which contemporary artist and professional is most relevant in current movements and tendencies and corresponds to the Academy's research portfolio, and partly on an ongoing assessment of the relationship between tradition and contemporaneity in the performing arts.

The expectations of the students, in terms of independence and professionalism in their studies and collaborations with others, gradually increases every year.

The teaching consists of classroom-based activities, group teaching, individual teaching, supervision, direction, lectures, discussions and debates, individual study and practical tasks. The completion of essays and independent projects which must be undertaken outside of the regular teaching hours will be submitted based on the semester programme (homework).

All teaching is in English.

Organisation and learning methods
Each semester is curated uniquely in response to the professional field, and the specific needs of the student group. The quality of the programme is guaranteed through the academy’s maintaining of international networks of external partners, guest artists and artistic research projects which inform the semester planning.

The courses in the programme are divided into course components which again are divided into study periods. At the start of each semester, each student is given a detailed semester plan outlining his/her targets and a description of the contents of each study period. The semester plans are designed to ensure the study progress and are a contract between NTA and the student. The semester consists of different study periods of varying lengths. For each study period, the students are expected to prepare themselves and stay updated with relevant literature, images, film, music/sound, websites and other important educational material.

Arrangements are made for students to practice critical reflection and academic writing adapted to their regular studies, mainly in connection with the course component Methods: Art and theatre analysis. Further reference is made to the university college's resource page for academic writing:

As theatre is a collective art form, all classes are compulsory and must be attended. For more details, please see the Study Contract for students at HiØ/NTA.

Course topics, teaching forms and assessment criteria:

Course responsible: Karmenlara Ely

Composition focuses on an understanding of general principles of composing with limitations in space, voice, body, and materials. This is done with awareness of rhythm, duration and the collaboration of chosen elements towards a whole experience. The students will learn to create production components through trial and analyses, by generating staged material and improvisation. They learn how to develop the different elements of an artistic work into compositions and productions. The aim is for the students to learn how to use conceptual and formal principles of composition independently and with others.
Form of teaching: courses and laboratories.
Assessment criteria: based on the ability to reflect on, set limitations for and create original contextualities between different elements, demonstrating a musical, dramaturgical and compositional understanding of artistic process.

Improvisation trains actors to create events and situations, work with objects, space, sound, tempo and rhythm through improvisation, fixation and analysis. Students will also develop skills in interpreting and creating expressions and situations in dramatic, non-dramatic and episodic events and in dialogue. The aim is for students to be able to play with characters which develop a sense of play through their actions and understand physical and bodily expression as material in post-dramatic and visually orientated productions.
Form of teaching: exercises and tasks in laboratories and productions.
Assessment criteria: based on active participation, the ability to listen, interaction and playfulness.

Body is normally divided into some smaller components such as dance and other specialized techniques for physical awareness. This component provides professional training in bodily awareness and physical communication through rhythm, strength, flexibility, mobility, courage and playfulness. Students will learn breathing techniques and to use the core and gravity to understand one's own physical expression. The aim is for students to develop a reflective and conscious awareness of exploring the body as nuanced artistic material.
Form of teaching: exercises, continuous teaching.
Assessment criteria: based on active participation, physical precision, flexibility and strength, teamwork and the ability to be present in one's body/space.

Voice normally consists of a host of smaller components such as singing, using the voice, textual interpretation and dialogue. In this area, a physiological understanding is developed of what the voice is, as well as looking at resonance and timbre, through singing, voice training and voicing texts. The aim is for students to research forms of singing and speaking, developing skills in using vocal expression as an artistic object (text as phonetically separate sounds, primal sounds etc) and skills in coordinating the body with/as sound.
Form of teaching: exercises, continuous teaching.
Assessment criteria: based on active participation, taking responsibility for one’s own vocal development, seeking creative risk, commitment to practice/repetition and sonic collaboration in group work.

Learning outcome from the course Skills:
The candidate

  • has anatomical awareness of the body as a performative tool

  • orients the body compositionally in space, uniting elements of breath, gesture and rhythm.

  • knows his/her own vocal range and the mechanics of healthy vocal practice used for singing and speaking

  • has perceptual awareness of others in space and how their physical actions and expressions work collaboratively

  • has a range of known training practices to maintain the skills.

  • can initiate and maintain self-practice

The candidate

  • masters vocal control both in solo performance and group collaborations.

  • has physical flexibility, strength and kinetic awareness

  • can create, learn and repeat diverse choreography and text

  • masters improvisation techniques

  • masters performative listening/attention

General competence:
The candidate

  • has a compelling or reflected presence in performance

  • can communicate concepts through voice and movement

  • has a clear physical focus when performing an artistic concept

  • shows consciousness of/relationship to audiences

  • shows awareness of time, solo and group dynamics

  • is able and willing to take artistic risks


Course responsible: Karmenlara Ely

History and theory of art and theatre
This component provides the students with historical and contemporary knowledge about the theories of culture, architecture, art and the theatre and philosophy. The aim is for students to be able to relate their own work to historical and contemporary artistic practices and thinking. International guests lecture regularly about contemporary art in order for students to gain a broad knowledge of contemporary movements and trends within art and society today.
Form of teaching: lectures, private study, discussions and debates.
Assessment criteria: based on active participation and the ability to relate theory to practice.

Art and theatre analysis
This component provides students with the analytical experience and tools to understand the basis, structure and dramaturgical principles of their own and others' texts and productions and other works of art. The students will learn to describe and analyse the processes and products of the performing arts. The students are expected to see various kinds of realized and fictive productions and exhibitions - exceeding what is referred to as compulsory in the study programme. The aim for the students is to become acquainted with the use of literature and visual material in order to gain a background which enables an artist an analytical method to the performing arts.
Form of teaching: lectures, essays and discussions.
Assessment criteria: based on active participation and the ability to reflect and analyse the texts or works studied.

Conceptual development
In this component students learn how to create and develop visual materials, texts and other production-related material for the stage. The ability to develop concepts is based on implemented productions and analytical skills, dramaturgy, and systematic and strategic thinking. The aim is learn to create, articulate and communicate concepts.
Form of teaching: courses, lectures, laboratories.
Assessment criteria: based on written/oral reflection, and the ability to see the links between theory, working methods, composition and an artistic production.

Project planning
Project planning looks into themes such as organisation, administration, assessing costs, rights and logistics, and provides a basis for production-related processes. The aim is for students to be able to draw up written applications for funding for productions and become familiar with a host of principles for administrating collective production processes. All the different phases and levels connected to the creation of a work, from the first idea to the dismantling of the work, are explored in this component.
Form of teaching: lectures, private study, essays and discussions.
Assessment criteria: based on active participation, the ability to express oneself in writing, the ability for strategic reasoning, the organization of a work throughout all phases, as well as organizational skills.

Learning outcome from the course Methods:

The candidate

  • has built up a theoretical vocabulary within historical contexts relevant to contemporary traditions in the performing arts and other art fields relevant for scenography

  • knows various working methods and approaches to devising work collaboratively

  • knows how to develop and sharpen their own methods in relation to a specific task

  • has experience creating a link between theory and practice

The candidate

  • can analyse and reflect on his/her own and others' performative expressions

  • can compose original work collaboratively, based on a clear chosen concept and relate it to both the body and space analytically

  • can dialogue about the dynamics between various compositional elements

  • can speak/write about his/her own and others' concepts, processes and finished work

General competence
The candidate

  • can articulate a range of compositional and analytical methods for the creation of original work

  • can reflect on his/her own vision of interdisciplinary performance within historical and contemporary art processes

  • is an articulate performer who can take different critical roles in the theatre making process.

  • is competent in concept development and project planning.


Course responsible: Karmenlara Ely

Materiality introduces collaboration with materials / non-human elements as critical partners in artistic processes. The aim is to create awareness of the diversity of things, materials and other non-human elements which activate potentials between the artistic and social contexts, as well as reflect on potential ethical / social impact of such collaborations. Students will be able to set up laboratory situations to learn from/collaborate with a variety of materials (which include the body as material) as well as play/experiment with them on equal status as the body/actor.
Forms of teaching: practical courses and experimentation
Assesment critieria: Based on active participation, reflection and demonstration of ability to independently propose and carry out embodied experiments with materials in space.

Within this component, students learn about developing techniques and an understanding of acting in space through the practical and analytical exploration of the potential of the space, movement and objects. The aim of this laboratory-based teaching is for students to learn to communicate with space and objects as important artistic elements.
Form of teaching: practical courses and experiments.
Assessment criteria: based on the active exploration of and experimentation with composition in space, and presence through the body, movement, objects, lighting and sound.

This component provides knowledge about lighting as a fundamental prerequisite for all stagecraft and the way in which lighting creates form and space on stage. Students will get familiar with the ways in which creating form and space are inextricably linked with the ways in which lighting is used. The aim is for students to understand the possibilities inherent to lighting, set the lights simply themselves, and learn from the experiences of professional lighting technicians, designers and directors.
Form of teaching: courses and practical experiments with small-scale models and actual stages.
Assessment criteria: assessment is based on the level of basic technical and artistic understanding.

Within the component of sound, knowledge is acquired about analogue and computer-based sound productions and sound as an integrated part of a performance work in general. The aim is for students to be able to understand the functions of and possibilities of sound, compose simple sound backgrounds themselves, and enter into dialogue with professional sound technicians, designers, musicians and composers.
Form of teaching: courses and practical experiments.
Assessment criteria: assessment is based on the level of basic technical and artistic understanding.

Learning outcome from the course Laboratories:

The candidate

  • acquires interdisciplinary working methods related to other art fields

  • can conduct research and creative experimentation through interdisciplinary artistic processes

  • knows the range of possible artistic media and technology relevant to performance practices and how to engage them

  • understands theoretical and practical elements of spatial composition

  • knows basic characteristics of materials and their behaviour, and has experimented with them in a wide scope of contexts

The candidate

  • can investigate, compose and collaborate across different media with various materials on equal status as the body.

  • can integrate the qualities of different media with his/her physical performance skills to communicate a concept

  • can create compositions in space working collaboratively with new technologies

General competence
The candidate

  • can undertake an artistic investigation of performative space through contemporary theatre making tools, strategies and materials

  • acquires the ability to work conceptually while experimenting with form and new materials

  • works proficiently and technically with the performing body in an interdisciplinary space

  • understands and employs collaborative approaches

Course responsible: Karmenlara Ely

Directed productions
Directed productions is based on skills, methods and knowledge from all the study areas and provides practice in being a part of larger staged productions. The aim is for actors to take part in a creative collaboration with a director/choreographer, meet the challenges of the work generously, critically and independently and show an ability to communicate with the audience.
Form of teaching: staging.
Assessment criteria: based on work in the process and performance in the production(s).

Independent productions
This component is based on skills, methods and knowledge from all the areas of study and provides practice in working independently with stage arts. The aim is for students to be able to formulate a concept and realize a production in collaboration with their peers in acting and scenography through reflective concept development, project planning and performance.
Form of teaching: private study with supervision.
Assessment criteria: based on work in the process and performance in the production(s).

Learning outcome from the course Productions:

The candidate

  • knows the steps required in performing a fully developed concept to an audience both in directed and independent productions

  • knows the skills necessary to maintain a functioning and sustainable physical rehearsal process

  • understands the challenges and commitment required of a performing ensemble practice

  • knows the skills required of live performance and relating to the public

The candidate

  • can work professionally and take responsibility as a distinct member of an interdisciplinary art project ensemble with diversified roles

  • can collaborate under pressure

  • can use performance skills to communicate effectively with an audience

  • can proficiently take artistic risks in performance in both independent and directed productions

  • relate to both his/her own concept and the audience while maintaining a skilled focus

General competence
The candidate

  • can communicate a clear concept or vision using different media or disciplinary approaches.

  • has an integrated practice that results in an articulate embodied performance visually and spatially

  • has a mature understanding of audiences and how to relate to them in a distinct way


Study aids
The students must pay for all study aids themselves. This includes individually required hardware, software, copying, books, etc. Study aids at NTA include attending performances and visiting exhibitions outside the academy's premises. This implies that students at NTA must pay for productions and exhibitions to be visited and according travel expenses. Please see the guidelines for students at NTA.

Coursework requirements
To sit the exam it is required to attend all scheduled activities as stipulated in the beginning of each semester. Any student exceeding the maximal absence of 20% within each course will not be allowed to sit an exam.

For more details, please see the Study Contract for students at HiØ/NTA.

In case of absence caused by injury, prolonged disease or pregnancy, the head of programme and a tutor who has continuously followed up the student over a longer period of time will on an individually base discuss with the student in concern to seek alternative progression to the normal length of study.

Continuous feedback
The students' individual development is assessed orally during their studies based on the targets and contents of the area concerned, and the students' individual abilities. Continual assessment is an important part of the student's individual learning plan.

Upon the completion of a course component which lasts 2 weeks or more, taught only by an external guest, as defined by the semester plan, the students will be given an assessment. The head of programme or his/her deputy and the main teacher involved in the respective study period assess the student's work, progress and artistic and professional development

Risk of not passing
If, on the basis of the student's efforts or academic development, the student is deemed to be at risk of failing in one or more of the programme's four courses at the end of the semester, the student will be called in to a meeting and notified of this at any time during the programme of study.

The head of programme, a tutor who has continuously followed up the student over a longer period of time and the head of study will take part in this meeting with the student. At the meeting, it shall be stated in which way the student will be followed up.

Students may be given individual assignments as an opportunity to raise their level of academic development and proficiency sufficiently to a pass grade by the end of the semester.

The meeting must be drawn up in writing, signed by the student, the head of programme and the head of study, indicating that the meeting has taken place.

If extra individual task has been required, this must also be drawn up in writing with a date for submission (deadline) and signed by the head of programme, the head of study and the student. Such extra work may be a written essay, or presenting work demonstrating that the student possesses adequate skills or knowledge and is progressing.

The result of the extra work will be a part of the final assessment for each of the semester's areas of study at the end of the semester.

All courses are based on continual assessment.

At the end of the semester, the student's individual effort and progress are assessed in relation to learning outcomes set for the study and each course by the head of programme and at least one tutor who has followed the student's studies regularly for a longer period of time. The overall assessment of each of the semester's areas of study at the end of the semester is considered to be the exam, and the mark "pass/not passed" is awarded.

Credits are awarded at the end of each completed semester, and for each individual course.

Due to the organisation and structure of the course and the way in which course topics are integrated into a whole, a student must pass each subject area of study during each semester to be able to continue with his/her studies. This means that all subject areas in the first semester must be passed before the student may continue to the subject areas of the second semester, etc.

Absence (please see organisation and teaching above) must be authorized before the student can take the exam. Any student who has been absent for more than 20% in one or more courses will not be able to take the exam. The student will only be able to compensate for the teaching he/she has missed in the next ordinary teaching period. This must be equivalent to the same level/semester the student has missed. This may imply a delay of up to three years.

If a student fails to pass the exam in one or more courses he/she will have the opportunity to re-sit the exam.

A new exam is drawn up in the third last week of the semester. This task must be done during the two last weeks of the semester.

The task is defined by the head of programme in cooperation with a tutor who has followed the student for a certain period of time and an external examiner. The external examiner will be appointed by the head of programme. The new exam takes place in the last week of the semester 14 days are granted to complete the task. The content, the criteria which will be assessed and the time allotted to complete the new exam will be stated on the task itself. The head of programme, the head of study and the student sign a document stating that the new exam has been handed to the student. All areas of study must be passed before a student can continue with the next semester.

An exam may be taken twice (the normal exam and one retake), in correspondence with the Regulation concerning Exams at Østfold University College (Norwegian version), section 4, subsection 5.

A student who chooses to leave the course before completing and passing it may be given a transcript of records showing the subject areas passed and the number of credits gained and which semesters have been completed.

Formal mistakes in the exam may be appealed against. The expert assessment of the examiners cannot be appealed against.

Research and Development

The teaching of the program is based on Artistic Research. Academic staff in the program carries out artistic research of relevance to the study programme and dissemination of their artistic research.

The students will be invited to take part in the internal and external R&D/artistic research work of the academic staff, and, if applicable, guest artists.

Practical and reflective development work is essential in connection with professional collaborations. The diversity of artistic and theoretical research carried out by academic staff, in which students, research fellows, guest artists, curators, producers and theoreticians take part, is a prerequisite for and forms the basis for students' progress and for their attainment of the learning outcomes of the programme. Artistic research of a high national and international level is carried out by academic staff both within and outside the institution. The students' active participation and contribution can take different forms, such as major or minor practical and theoretical contributions to artistic productions and publications.

Our R&D/artistic research contributes to and initiates cooperation across the discipline and faculty boundaries and into extensive cooperation with regional and other relevant parties.


The NTA's curriculum engages professional artists and other relevant experts from all parts of the world as teachers. NTA also recruits students internationally.

All teaching is in English. The students have to follow all arranged study activities; there are no separate courses for foreign students. The Academy is pleased to welcome international exchange students from its international network whenever this fits in with the organising of regular academic year programmes.

Evaluation of the study

The teaching is evaluated by students, tutors and the head of programme on a continuous basis throughout the semester, following each study period/workshop that exceeds two week.

The study programme is regularly evaluated by the students to ensure and develop the qulity of the programme:

  • Every year NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) initiates a nationwide survey among all second-year students in every bachelor- and master programme. The result are published at Studiebarometeret.no.

  • The university college performs evaluation of ther study programmes at regular intervals.

  • At the end of each fall semester, the students carry out an anonymous written evaluation in the form of a questionnaire survey.


The courses has no set reading list, but there is a suggested bibliography created by both artistic directors/head of programmes on website. Each semester certain readings will be required according to the teaching.
The courses of Skills, Laboratories and Productions are based on experimental learning.
The area of METHODS is more theoretical and assessed based on active participation and reflection.

The head of programme and the tutors will point to relevant literature, art works, theatrical productions and exhibitions, architectural projects, art catalogues, film, music, videos, websites, art and theatre criticism in the media etc.

Studies abroad

Students at NTA are encouraged to take part of their training abroad. Through its international network, the Academy seeks to organise exchanges for interested students by tailoring opportunities abroad to meet individual needs.

NTA accepts exchange students when this is applicable with the study programme planned for our regular students. The Academy ideally accepts students from institutions with which it has student mobility agreements. However, students who hold a regular student position at any art education programme are welcome to apply as an exchange student to NTA.

NTA maintains a large international network through partner institutions, collaborating education institution and teachers network.

Through Nordic / Baltic network (NORTEAS), the students at NTA have the opportunity to exchange to or participate in specially composed workshops at different institutions.

In addition, NTA has bilateral agreements with a number of international education and producing institutions that regularly as updated and revised.

Work and future studies

Further education
The programme qualifies for Master's degree programme in Performance at Norwegian Theatre Academy.

The programme also qualifies for further national and international education at second degree in a broad field of arts and performing arts.

Career opportunites
The programme qualifies for professional practice as an actor, nationally and internationally, both within theatre institutions implementing complex productions and within a wide range of theatre/performing arts of more experimental and interdisciplinary nature. The actor is trained both as a performer and as a creator for the stage.

Candidates can participate as professional actors in directed theatre productions and may even initiate, develop, and implement their own theatre productions.

Candidates as professional actors can conceptualize, develop and realize their own work as well as collaborate in institutions on a variety of theatre productions.

The study plan is approved and revised

The study plan is approved

Artistic director, Acting, Karmenlara Ely Seidman and Head of administration, Anne Berit Løland, May 21 2019

The study plan applies to


Last updated from FS (Common Student System) July 15, 2020 6:16:57 AM