UNIMA NORWAY awards 3 prizes; The Tyrihans Award, The Birgit Strøm Award and Karel Hlavaty Scholarship. Frequency for the allocations depends on the organizations current financial position, but usually in conjunction with the Fri Figur – festival.


is UNIMA Norway´s honorary prize, awarded to individuals / groups / institutions, who have made significant contributions to puppetry. It is awarded biannually.

The Tyrihans award is a handsome statue by the sculptress Nina Sundby. The jury has 3 members representing a cross section of puppetry. The Unima  board proposes jury candidates, one of whom is a board member.  The jury is elected at the annual General Assembly.

Nordland Visual Theatre was awarded the price in 2015.




It was UNIMA Norway desire to honor Birgit Strøm´s contribution to Norwegian puppetry, by creating a new prize in her name, though  she was not in favor of prizes of the category “best performance”. In her opinion quality could not be measured in that way, therefor the board of UNIMA Norway offers an «alternative» prize.

The Birgit Strøm Award goes to a topical performance, which the jury believes is in keeping with her intentions.

The prize comprises a picture of the puppet “Titten Tei” with Birgit Strøm in the background, by the artist Kari Rolfsen and a check 10 000 NOK.

Prizewinner 2010

The prize in 2010 was awarded to Barske Glæder Produksjoner for «Først kom ingenting , så kom ingenting «, a journey through the creation in Norse mythology, told in a simple, beautiful, easily understood manner.

Prizewinner 2008

In 2008 the prize was given to Robsrud & Dean for Fendelhorgens Flokk. The jury chose to stress that the prize should show mastery of technique, and that the performance had something to promote and communication with the audience. The jury justified their choice thus:

The prize is awarded to a performance that is using simple methods, presenting us with a vast and dangerous universe – where the good, fortunately, win in the end. Visually performed with good rhythm and precise timing. It communicates with the audience and engages them in the process. The relationship between the storyteller, actor and puppets is balanced and varied, and executed with a good deal of self-irony. The puppeteer masters all the characters, but the prize went to all of Fendels pack.

Members of the jury were dramatist Jane Rasch, leader of the Dramatikervæksthus in Denmark, actress Anne-Margritt Børresen, general manager of  Nordic Black Express, and associate professor Svein Gundersen, Board leader of UNIMA Norway.

Prizevinner 2007

IN 2007 The prize was awarded to Teater Fusentast from Trondheim for «Sand Mellom Tærne.»  (Sand between your toes)

FromThe jury´s assessment:

Birgit Strøm did not avoid taking up serious subjects told with warmth and humor. These elements are also present in the chosen performance. It has high technical standard and uses all the theatre means. It gives space to the actor’s puppets and the audience. The performance tells a powerful story and a personal story. It asks the question, what makes life worth living? And answers are among other things, sand between your toes.


On the background of Karel Hlavati`s great influence on the development of puppetry in Norway, UNIMA Norway decided to create a prize in his name. Funds were acquired from theaters and individuals. The wording of the letter asking for donations was:

Hlavati came to Norway from Czechoslovakia in 1968. With a shining career from a country with long puppetry traditions, he was quickly at work in his adopted country – as director, stage designer, and puppet builder, not forgetting numerous courses held over the whole country.

He has worked with the majority of Norways institutional theaters as a producer and stage designer.  He was also a professor at the teachers collage in Oslo and significantly developed the drama subjects.

He died in the summer of 1988. Karel Hlavati`s standing for quality and prowess has been instrumental in clarifying the artistic criteria in our subject.

The regulations for Karel Hlavati`s Memorial Fund:

  • The board of UNIMA Norway manages the fund.
  • Collected funds are lodged in a bank account with interest.
  • The interest is given biannually to a young puppet theater artist, at the start of their career. The size of the scholarship size decided by the board.
  • It is awarded after a reasoned application and artistic criteria.
  • The applications can be for travel, scholarships, developing ideas, or other puppetry related studies.
  • Applications are to be sent to UNIMA Norway

In 2002 the funds assets were 100 000 NOK and the first announcement was in 2003.

Those who have received a scholarship from the fund is:

  • Pelle Ask
  • Lars Wingård
  • Hanne Fray Husø

The next allocation is planned for the Fri Figur Festival in 2017.
The announcement can be found at UNIMA Norway´s website.