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.
His plays include: A Real Boy (productions: This Is Water); Exquisite Potential (productions: Project Rushmore; Dezart Performs; New Jersey Playwrights Contest; winner of the New Jersey Playwrights Contest, Dezart Performs’ Reading Series and the Across the Generations New Jewish Play Competition); For Unto Us (productions: Barrington Stage Company; Acadia Theatre Company; winner Best Play MiniFest); The Seventh Son (productions: Bergen County Academies); In Mrs. Baker's Room (productions: Theatre Southwest; commission: Abingdon; winner of the Father Hamblin Award for Outstanding Playwriting); The Elevator Play: Beyond Thunderdome (winner of the Kitchen Sink Festival @ Expanded Arts); When the Mayonnaise Goes Bad (written with Will Nolan), The Book of Daniel (winner of the Blank’s YPC and the New American Comedy Showcase and produced at Ukiah Theatre), Tim Eless, Private Eye (winner of the Delaware City Theatre’s 10-minute play competition and the Blank’s YPC with a production starring Noah Wyle), And Jack Came Tumbling After (winner of the Blank’s YPC, International Thespian Society Playworks and the California YPC produced at Old Globe Theatre, and other productions at Ensemble Studio Theatre, HERE and Lincoln Center Theatre’s American Living Room Series, Masquers Club); Self-Addressed (winner of the Blank’s YPC and produced with Steven Gilborn and Peter Van Norden at LA’s Hudson Theatre and also at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival); Dreams of Reason (Northwestern University); and Oh, Happy We (winner of the Blank’s YPC, Vanguard Theatre's 10-minute play contest, and produced at The Theatre-Studio).
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).
In 2001, he was commissioned to write Six Seniors In Search Of An Ending, a performance piece presented by six New York City high school seniors for their commencement and performed for President Bill Clinton.
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.
Stephen is currently on faculty at Bergen County Academies and has been on faculty at 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 Masters in Education Leadership from Mercy College, Masters in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University, and is completing his MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage at Point Park University.
He is a proud member of and the New Jersey Regional Representative for the Dramatist’s Guild.