Trailblazer Awards for 08-09 Theatre Season
CCM Drama Department ChairAsk about Richard Hess and the same words come up: “Vision.” “Passion.” “Dedication.” The chair of Drama at CCM, Hess fosters relationships, sends students beyond CCM and helps to populate Cincinnati’s independent theater scene and promote creation of new work. As CCM Drama alum Richard Oberacker puts it, “Richard is one of the most fearless artists Cincinnati has right now. And I don’t mean just what he puts onstage. He has risked much and sacrificed even more to make CCM Drama what it is today. There are new works being created, and the students are not only encouraged to develop their own projects, but in many cases required to do so. He teaches by example, and he understands that he can’t produce graduates who are willing to take bold risks if he isn’t doing so.”
On campus, Hess had added a senior showcase in New York and Los Angeles, and annual Dolly Awards to applaud a job well done in the drama department. Off-campus, CCM drama students and alums have been an essential part of Cincinnati Fringe, with 20-25 percent of the work every year having a CCM drama connection.
According to his students, Richard Hess “has a huge heart, a wonderful sensibility, and a passion for storytelling and for what art can and should do.”