For more than 15 years, Steve Kaplan has been the industry’s most respected and sought-after expert on comedy. The artists he’s taught, directed or produced have gone on to be nominated for 43 Emmy Awards, 1 Academy Award, 3 Golden Globe Awards, 1 American Comedy Award, 6 Writers’ Guild of America Awards and several others. (They’ve WON 10 Emmys, 1 Oscar, 2 WGA Awards and the American Comedy Award.) In addition to having taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale and other top universities, Steve Kaplan created the HBO Workspace, the HBO New Writers Program and was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre.
He has served as a consultant to such companies as DreamWorks, Disney, Aardman Animation, HBO and others.
In New York, Steve was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, where he developed writers such as Peter Tolan (Analyze This, Finding Amanda), writer and producer David Crane (Friends, Joey, The Class), writer/producer Tracy Poust (Ugly Betty, Will & Grace), Michael Patrick King (The Comeback, Sex and The City, Will & Grace), David Ives (All In The Timing), Will Scheffer (Big Love), Howard Korder (Lakeview Terrace), and Mark O’Donnell (Hairspray) and introduced such performers as Lewis Black, Nathan Lane, John Leguizamo, Mercedes Ruehl and Oliver Platt.
In Los Angeles, he created the HBO New Writers Project, discovering HBO Pictures screenwriter Will Scheffer and performer/writer Sandra Tsing Loh; and the HBO Workspace, a developmental workshop in Hollywood that introduced and presented performers such as Jack Black and Tenacious D, Kathy Griffin, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (Mr. Show), Josh Malina and Paul F. Tompkins. At the Workspace, he was Executive Producer for the award-winning HBO Original Programming documentary DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. Steve has directed in regional theaters and Off-Broadway (including Sandra Tsing Loh’s ALIENS IN AMERICA at Second Stage) and has developed, produced and directed other one-woman shows with actress Lauren Tom and comediennes Nora Dunn and Kathy Buckley.
In addition to private coaching and one-on-one consultations, Steve has taught his Comedy Intensive workshops to thousands of students around the world, including Los Angeles, New York, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore. His upcoming workshops include Vancouver and the Screenwriters Expo in Los Angeles and the Animation Expo in Burbank, California.