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Fulbright Scholar and CCM Drama Dept. Chair Richard Hess in Kenya with AUstin Opata
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Richard E. Hess

Title: Professor of Acting and Directing
Office: 3704 Corbett Cntr Perform Arts
Tel: 513-556-9575

Richard E. Hess served as Chair of CCM Acting for 25 years of his 26 years at CCM. He completed his tenure as Chair in 2019. Recent directing credits at CCM include 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 directs The Government Inspector and produces the 5th Annual CCM 48 Hour Film Festival.

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 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. (UN)Natural Disaster was re-mounted on the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival. 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.
  • MFA, CCM.

Experience & Service

Work Experience

  • 1993 to To Present, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.



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Working Actors

Anthony Woods

Anthony Woods (CCM Acting 2001) recently moved to Los Angeles where he has appeared in the plays Take Me Out, Stickfly, and Restaurant Stories.  Film credits include Traffic, Exit, and Fall From Grace.


Tom Korbee

Tom Korbee (CCM Acting 2002) is a singer/song-write/actor who resides in Los Angeles. He performs as part of the trio Korbee Jones with his wife Jennifer and Daniel Jones from the band Savage Garden. He is also a serious headshot photographer. Theatre credits include Showtune (Off-Broadway), The Laramie Project (The Garson Theatre Co.) and The Pilgrim (Los Angeles).


Havilah Brewster

Havilah Brewster (CCM Acting 2005) Havilah's New York Theater includes RadioPlay with Reggie Watts (PS122 as well as Ars Nova, IRT and Redhouse), Cooler (The Chocolate Factory), Inventing Avi (Abingdon Theatre Company), 7 Stories High (Fringe NYC), Local Story(The Access Theater), Asking For Trouble (Ensemble Studio Theater).  At the Flea Theater as a member of their resident acting company The Bats; the World Premiere of A.R. Gurney's A Light Lunch, The Happy Sad, I.E. In Other Words, The Director and the World Premiere of A.R. Gurney's Post Mortem (understudy).  Readings of note: Ken Urban's The Happy Sad for Harvard University, ART, and The Huntington Theater in Boston and I Must Be Off (Roger Rosenblatt Plays) with Alan Alda and Sigourney Weaver for the Stony Brook Southampton Writers Conference.  Television: Two episodes of ABC's What Would You Do?


Mikhail Roberts

Mikhail Roberts (CCM Acting 2008) Mikhail's film credits include SAKI, A Better Place, The Monster’s Mind, and Underdogs. Theatre credits include All in the Timing and USS Pinafore in Los Angeles, and A Mime Is A Terrible Thing to Waste (Cincinnati Fringe Festival), Thrill Me, Iris and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (KNOW Theatre), FUN (Queen City Off-Broadway)and Radiant Baby and The Fully Monty (New Stage Collective).


Stephanie Brait

Stephanie Brait (CCM Acting 2009) Stephanie appeared on Golden Boy, Law and Order: SVU and  the MTV drama I Just Want My Pants Back. Theatre credits include Embers from the Ashes  and In The Vise of Evils (Cincinnati Playwright's Initiative), As White As O (Know Theatre), MAD, and Anna the Slut and the (Almost) Chosen One (Cincinnati Fringe Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival) Film work includes Bastards of Young, 13 Floors, Love Rationally, Meth, End of the Line and Run to Me.


Torie Wiggins

Torie Wiggins (CCM Acting 2002) Torie was recognized for the 2014 Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting. Torie is known as an author and actress for her one woman show based on the writings of Kathy Y. Wilson, Your Negro Tour Guide, which she has performed in New York, Austin, and in Cincinnati at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Television credits include All My Children. Voiceover credits include Maytag, the voice of Cinematherapy on the Women’s Entertainment Channel, Home Depot, H&M. Her numerous theatre credits include  Shakedown Street (NYC International Fringe Festival), Black Pearl Sings, The Mountaintop, To Kill A Mockingbird, Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party, Collapse, Afghan Women Writer's Project, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Cincinnati Theatres including Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, and the KNOW Theatre of Cincinnati.

Maria Kelly

Maria Kelly (CCM Acting 2002) Maria's appeared in Three Movements in New York at Theatre Row on 42nd Street, a new play about the life of George Balanchine. Other theatre credits includeHamlet (dir. Michael Kahn), An Enemy Of The People, The Beaux' Strategem, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, School For Wives (The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. ) Richard III, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor (The New Jersey Shakespeare Festival).


Annie Hendy

Annie Hendy (CCM Acting 2002) is known as the author and star of the hit play The Catholic Girl’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity.  She performed the show as part of the season at the Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as at the Pico Playhouse and The Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. The play was also a hit at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival before transferring to the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.


Sandy Harper Cockrell

Sandy (Harper) Cockrell (CCM Acting 1997) is the Artistic Director of J City Theatre in Jersey City, NJ. Off-Broadway credits include: As Bees In Honey Drown, Julius Caesar, The Seagull, Living Proof and The Last Baby Boomer. Regionally, she has performed with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, St. Louis Repertory and Hudson Shakespeare Company.


Daniel Wisler

Daniel Wisler (CCM Acting 2004) was a recurring character on David Mamet's The Unit on CBS. Other film credits include Troglodyte, Elijah's Curse, Imperial Violet, and The Pledge. Other television credits include CSI and The Guiding Light.


Ty Olwin (CCM Acting 2013)

Ty is a Chicago-based actor who has made his mark on the scene during his first year in Chicago. He appeared as Jack in the Steppenwolf production of Lord of the Flies, as well as The Raven Theatre production of Tennessee Willimas' Vieux Carre. In addition Ty appeared in a guest starring role on Crisis on NBC.

He studied in the summer acting intensive at Steppenwolf before his senior year at CCM. CCM credits include Red Light Winter, Coram Boy, The Time of Your Life and A Midsummer Night's Dream.


Kyle Nunn
(CCM Acting 2008)

Kyle recently appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's Dogg's Hamlet and Cahoot's Macbeth with the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. He has a long history with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, where he has appeared in The Three Musketeers, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar. He has appeared in The Ugly Duckling as Prince Simon with Marvell Rep at the Barrow Group Theatre. He has also appeared in Much Ado About Nothing as Claudio with the Accidental Shakespeare Co. He also appeared in (UN)Natural Disaster in both the Cincinnati and New York Fringe Festivals.