Richard E. Hess
Professor of Acting and Directing
Corbett Cntr Perform Arts
CCM TAPAA - 0003
Richard E. Hess served as Chair of CCM Acting for 25 years, from 1994-2019. He is starting his 28th year on the faculty in the CCM Acting Department. Recent directing credits at CCM include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Clybourne Park, H2O: A Play about Water, also seen in the Cincinnati and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, The Earth is Flat, Middletown, The Crucible, The Laramie Project, RENT, You Can’t Take It With You (ACCLAIM Award winner Outstanding University Play), Anon(ymous) (ACCLAIM Award winner Outstanding Play), Brigadoon (Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Outstanding Musical) and Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches (CEA for Best Ensemble Acting). This year at CCM he will help produce and manage The Phoenix Project, pop-up theatre, and The Film Project.
He has directed at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street in New York directing AN EVENING OF (Mostly) TRUE SONGS (with Andrea Burns), music and lyrics by Adam Wagner, and The Catholic Girl's Guide to Sex at the Hudson Guild Theatre, with Annie Hendy. Favorite directing credits at the Human Race Theatre Co., where he has been a resident artist since 1996, include On Golden Pond, Race, Red, Doubt, Proof, I Am My Own Wife and A Delicate Balance. Other credits include the Los Angeles staging of the one-woman show Besame Mucho, O.K. That's Enough (with Diana Maria Riva), and the smash hits The Pages of My Diary I'd Rather Not Read and The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity, both of which enjoyed sold out runs at the Hudson Theatre in LA. For five years Hess was the artistic director of Hot Summer Nights in Cincinnati, where he directed Violet (with Ashley Brown), Hello, Dolly! (with Pamela Myers), Godspell (with Shoshana Bean and Leslie Kritzer) and the premiere of We Tell The Story: The Songs of Ahrens and Flaherty, in collaboration with Stephen Flaherty.
He studied with the internationally acclaimed director Anne Bogart and members of the Saratoga International Theatre Institute in New York and Los Angeles for the past two decades. He has taught Viewpoints master classes in Beijing, China, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Nairobi, Kenya, Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia, and across the US.
He made his debut as a playwright/creator in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival with (UN)Natural Disaster, created with 13 actors, performed in an abandoned building in Over-the-Rhine, and named the Producer's Pick of the Fringe. He directed a devised original piece about etiquette called Naked Strangers for the 2016 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.
In June of 2011 Hess directed The Collapsible Space Between Us with the Dadaab Theater Project, comprised of 5 CCM Drama students, which was presented with 8 refugees from the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya for World Refugee Day sponsored by the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya. He returned to Kenya as a Fulbright Scholar in 2014 and taught acting and directing at Kenyatta University in Nairobi and researched the creation of original works by creating the KUMI NA MBILI (12) stage show and short film.
Hess was named Ernest Glover Outstanding Teacher at UC in 1999 and 2012 and was named the ACCLAIM Award Theatre Trailblazer in 2009. He is an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers.
MS: SUNY College at Buffalo
BA and BS: SUNY-Fredonia
1993 -To Present University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music,