Richard Hirsch is a prolific, Ovation-nominated writer of over three-dozen plays for the stage. Since 2004, his fast-growing body of work has quickly gained recognition, beginning with a First Prize win in the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition for his play Proclivities (aka The Concept of Remainders). Since that time, roughly twenty of his short and full-length plays have been staged in theatres around the country. In 2006, his breakthrough work The Quality Of Light was nominated for an Ovation Award for Best World Premiere Play. Two years later, he received a second Ovation Award nomination, as well as his second straight LA Weekly Theatre Award nomination for playwriting for The Concept of Remainders.  In 2008, his new play, London Scars, was selected as an O’Neill Theatre Conference Semi-Finalist and went on to be Grand Prize winner of New York’s prestigious “Next Generation” National Playwriting Contest, sponsored by Reverie Productions.

A rare Los Angeles native, Richard credits his impeccable ear for dialogue to growing up in a talkative, sometimes disputatious family environment.  Always on the shy side, Richard found himself much more a listener than a talker and eventually became an ardent observer of people, unapologetically drawn to exploring the dynamics of human behavior and interaction. With parents who loved to travel, it’s no surprise that Richard became quite a voyageur as well. As an adult he has traveled extensively, both on his own and with his wife, Susan, throughout Europe and Scandinavia, and has come to know cities such as Rome, Positano, London, and Saint Paul de Vence with such intimacy that he has set some of his plays in these locations.

It wasn’t until after graduating UCLA with honors and a degree in Economics that Richard realized how much passion he had for writing. Though he’d completed his degree with a Minor in Literature, it was his love of reading such divergent work as Kurt Vonnegut’s short stories and Erica Jong's novel, Fear of Flying that lead him to enroll in UCLA's Writers Program with the intention of receiving a Masters Degree in Creative Writing.  After having explored playwriting in one of his courses, the fledgling author found himself hooked on the form and has since devoted his creative efforts almost exclusively to writing for the stage.  From the UCLA program, he moved on to the playwrights' workshop at Ralph Waite's Los Angeles Actors Theatre and began to learn the craft in earnest alongside accomplished playwrights such as Miguel Piñero, Ross MacLean, and others.

From then on, Richard immersed himself in the theater community, overseeing shoe-string productions of his own work as well as others,’ and gaining valuable production experience by stage managing at venues across Los Angeles.  Early on, he struck a friendship with the legendary Caffe Cino transplant Neil Flanagan, who was instrumental in helping Richard better grasp the nuances of translating his words to live performance on the stage.  Ever driven to learn and improve, Richard continues to hone his craft through the collaborative culture that so drew him to theatre in the first place: from informal workshops and private living room gatherings to his current participation in the Ensemble Studio Theatre LA Playwrights’ Unit and the company’s many play development programs.

 

Richard currently resides in Pacific Palisades, CA with his wife and daughter.
 
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