Brian Zoldessy

Brian Zoldessy (Morten Kiil) Ph.D., Professor Emeritus - Director of the Theatre Arts Department at Cuyahoga Community College (1991-2019). In 1995, before receiving tenure, Brian was the first non-tenured faculty member to receive CCC’s prestigious Ralph M. Besse Award for Teaching Excellence and was honored with The Outstanding Achievement Award for Teaching by the International Conference for Teaching and Leadership, Austin, Texas. As a professional actor, Brian has worked in New York, L.A., Chicago, and Cleveland, and has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in television and films, having worked with Kevin Bacon, Matthew Broderick, Fisher Stevens, John Travolta, Woody Allen, Joseph Stein, Stephen Schwartz, Eli Wallach and the late, great, Jack Gilford.  A winner of Kennedy Center’s Irene Ryan Acting and Directing Awards, he has directed and produced over 100 award winning productions. Additionally, Brian performed stand-up comedy at many of New York’s famous comedy clubs including The Improvisation, Catch A Rising Star, and Dangerfield’s. Other awards and honors include: CCC’s Dean’s Award for Excellence in Education, The Exemplary Professor Award (National Conference of the American Association for Higher Education), Meritorious Performance and Professional Excellence Award (California State University), The Carleton and Winthrop Palmer Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Theatre Arts (Long Island University), Best Actor, Supporting Actor, and Best Character Actor (Post Theatre Company, New York). He has also received 15 Times Newspaper Theatre Tribute Awards for Directing and Performing, as well as Best Actor of the Year by the Ohio Newspapers Association. Additionally, Ohio Magazine and Crain’s Cleveland Business selected as one of Ohio’s top theatre educators.  In addition to his classroom activities, Brian also coaches many Cleveland performers as well as preparing many High School seniors for their college theatre arts auditions. He is also a published poet and is the author of The Theatre Appreciation Workbook: Exercises and Activities. Brian is also one of the original stage directors for the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival and in 2012, he was awarded Best Performance by an Actor by the Cleveland Critics Circle Awards for his performance as Ned Weeks in The Normal Heart (Ensemble Theatre), Best Actor, 2013, for his performance as Sigmund Freud, in Freud’s Last Session (Actor’s Summit) and Best Actor for his performance as Albert Einstein in the one-man, sold-out production of Einstein: A Stage Portrait (Actor’s Summit). Currently, Brian’s most important roles are father and grandfather.

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