May-Brit Akerholt studied at Oslo University and pusued her interest in theatre studies as part of her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Conversant with three Scandinavian languages - Norwegian, Swedish and Danish - she studied French and English also. After migrating to Australia she completed an Honours degree at Macquarie University in New South Wales, concentrating on translating Ibsen's plays for performers. This was followed by an M.A. (Hons) at Macquarie University, where she developed and tutored in a course in Australian Literature and Drama from 1979 to 1984.
Akerholt acted as both dramaturg and lecturer in Drama at NIDA from 1985-1986. This was followed by a position as dramaturg with the Sydney Theatre Company from 1987 to 1992. From 1993 to April 2002, Akerholt was Artistic Director at the Australian National Playwrights Centre. Her literary interests also include membership of The Australian Writers Guild, The New South Wales Writers Centre, Playworks, ASAL, ADSA, ITI and a directorship of Company B Board, Belvoir St. Theatre. Akerholt has translated and produced plays by Genet, Gogol, Ibsen, Sartre, Strindberg and others.