Richard E. Hess
Professor of Drama
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)
Fulbright Visiting Professor, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, 2014
A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance
Chair of the Department of Drama
CCM Faculty Since: 1993
Richard E. Hess was named a Fulbright Scholar to Kenya and he will be teaching and researching at Kenyatta University in the School of Theatre Arts and Television Production from January to May 2014.
Richard Hess has been Chair of CCM Drama for the past 20 years. Recent directing credits at CCM include The Crucible, The Laramie Project, Coram Boy, The Matchmaker, 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 (Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Ensemble Acting).
He made his New York directing debut at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street directing AN EVENING OF (Mostly) TRUE SONGS(with Andrea Burns), a new incarnation of Don’t Look Down, the music and lyrics of Adam Wagner, first seen in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Favorite directing credits at the Human Race Theatre Co., where he has been a resident artist since 1996, include 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 Los Angeles. 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 (SITI Co.) in New York and Los Angeles for the past decade. He has worked with the KNOW Theatre, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Chautauqua Institution, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops and Cincinnati Opera Education. He is proud of fostering the new work of playwrights, and has directed first productions of Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor’s Don’t Make Me Pull This Show Over: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Parenting, Mark Halpin’s The Kid in the Dark, Ben Magnuson’s Four Minutes, and Tom Korbee’sWill It Ever Stop Raining? 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. (UN)Natural Disasterwas subsequently re-mounted on the 2010 New York International 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.
Hess was named Ernest Glover Outstanding Teacher at UC in 1999 and again in 2012 and was named the ACCLAIM Award Theatre Trailblazer in 2009. He is an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers (SDC).