Stephen Kaplan grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and wrote his first play, And Jack Came Tumbling After, while attending Carnegie-Mellon’s high school summer program. The play was a winner in the Blank Theatre Company’s Young Playwright’s Competition before winning the California Young Playwright’s Competition where it received a production at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre on the Cassius Carter stage. His early plays placed him five times in the Blank’s Competition and resulted in his first professional production, of Self-Addressed starring Daniel Henning and Peter Van Norden.
Selected awards, commissions and productions: Tracy Jones (Upcoming: Williamston Theatre; Winner: Southeast Texas Festival of New Plays, Finalist: Trustus Theatre, B Street Theatre's New Comedies Festival); Branwell (and other Brontës): an autobiography edited by Charlotte Brontë (Upcoming: The Loft Ensemble, Blue Street; Semi-Finalist: O’Neill); Community (Finalist: Seven Devils; Road Less Traveled National Residency, Semi-Finalist: Premiere Stages, March Forth Productions); Exquisite Potential (Theatre Ariel, Dezart Performs, Project Rushmore; Winner: NJ Playwrights Contest, Dezart Performs, Across the Generations New Jewish Play Festival, Finalist: Woodward/Newman Award, Semi-Finalist: Seven Devils); A Real Boy (59E59 Theatre, Last Act Theater, This Is Water Theatre and Semi-Finalist: PlayPenn, Ashland New Play Festival, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest and MTWorks’ Newborn Festival); The John Wilkes Booth High School for the Performing Arts Presents:
The Most Inclusive, Least Offensive Play Ever:
An After School Special (Semi-Finalist: Campfire Theatre Festival); una casa/a home (Finalist: Landing Theatre’s New American Voices Reading Series, Route 66 Theatre’s New Play Development Program, Rorschach's Magic in Rough Spaces); Death Defying (NJ Rep/Theatre Brut); For Unto Us (published by DPS; Barrington Stage Company 10x10 Festival, MiniFest - Acadia Theatre Company, Luna Stage New Moon Short Play Festival, QueerShorts); In Mrs. Baker’s Room (Commission: Abingdon Theatre Company, Father Hamblin Award for Outstanding Playwriting, Center for Spiritual Living Playwriting Festival, Theatre Southwest); The Seventh Son (Semi-Finalist: Ronald M Ruble New Play Festival); Six Seniors In Search Of An Ending (Commission for six New York City high school seniors for their commencement and performed for President Bill Clinton).
He has also been named a Playwright-in-Residence with True False Theatre Company’s Polygraph Tests and at Passaic County Community College.
A member of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, he has also been the bookwriter/lyricist for a musical version of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s The Long Walk to Forever (composer Steve Yorra) and The Big City (composer Corey Samuels).
Stephen assisted writer Nan Knighton on Broadway’s The Scarlet Pimpernel and Saturday Night Fever, and the workshop of Camille Claudel. He has also worked with directors Michael Blakemore on London’s world premiere of Michael Frayn’s Olivier-nominated Alarms and Excursions and Nicholas Martin on the New York workshop of Fully Committed.
Current teaching duties include Lead Teacher for the Academy of Visual & Performing Art at Bergen County Academies, playwriting /screenwriting courses professor at Point Park University and Luna Stage. Previous teaching: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts (the “Fame” school) where he was Chair of the Drama Department, NYC’s Professional Performing Arts School where he headed the playwriting and directing programs and taught in the musical theatre program, The Actor's Institute in New York where he taught musical theatre performance, and has also taught theatre studies at California State University, Northridge and at California Lutheran College.
Stephen attended Northwestern and New York University where he earned his BFA in Theatre from Tisch and the Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. He received his MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage at Point Park University, MA in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University, and his MS in Education Leadership from Mercy College.
He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and currently serves on DG Council as the Northeastern Regional Representive.