Theater Faculty

Robert Kaplowitz

Robert Kaplowitz headshot

Photo by Fred Hayes


Robert Kaplowitz has been lucky enough to spend the last 21 years composing and designing sound. He has been honored with both a Tony for Best Sound Design of A Musical (2009-10, Fela!) and an OBIE for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design (2006-7 Season), among a number of other awards and nominations.

His professional credits include over 300 productions — he has also been a resident designer/dramaturg for more than a hundred new play workshops. As a composer, his work has been heard in dance, theater, and museums; as a designer, he has had the privilege of traveling the world and working with some of theater’s greatest artists.

Some favorite plays for which he has written music include John Beluso's The Poor Itch; Lemon Anderson’s County Of Kings; Tracy Scott Wilson’s The Story at the Public; Kia Corthron's Light, Raise the Roof ; Amy Herzog’s Belleville at NYTW; Charles Fuller’s Zooman and the Sign; Regina Taylor’s stop. reset at the Signature; Brian Osborne’s entirely unorthodox tour of The Word; Chloe Moss's This Wide Night (Naked Angels); Adam Bock's The Thugs (SoHo Rep); David Adjmi’s Stunning (LCT 3); Sebastienne Mundheim’s adaptation of A Child’s Christmas In Wales at the Lantern (a Barrymore nominee for outstanding music); and many of Neil LaBute’s premieres.

Some of the great works of theater and dance he’s designed include Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis’s Fela! (Broadway, the National Theatre in London, EKO Center in Lagos); Lucidity Suitcase’s Red Eye to Havre de Grace (Live Arts/NYTW/Emerson/Walker/etc); the Art Spiegelman/Pilobolus collaboration Hapless Hooligan; Michael Friedman and Itamar Moses’s Fortress of Solitude (Public, Dallas Theater Center); a collaboration with Bobby McFerrin on Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! at the Signature; and the Aaron Cromie/Mary Tuomonan collaboration The Body Lautrec, which was first seen at the O’Neill Puppetry Conference in the summer of 2014.

He has also designed and/or composed for MTC, Mabou Mines, 2nd Stage, LAByrinth, Primary Stages, The Vineyard, The Women’s Project, Playwrights Horizons, Intar, The Alley, the Guthrie, PS 122, and nearly every 99 seat-and-smaller theater in NYC. He relocated to Philadelphia in 2010, and while he continues to work in NYC, he now has pleasure of working in his new hometown with companies like Pig Iron, The Arden, Interact, The Wilma, Azuka, PTC, PLTC, Elastic, the Lantern, and the Walnut Street. He was the resident sound designer for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference from 2000 through 2004, has twice been a resident artist at Sundance, and has spent the past 5 summers helping PlayPenn discover how to utilize the design process in a playwrighting festival environment.

He currently teaches at Princeton University and runs an annual Masterclass in sound design at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival. He is a member of the Philadelphia Musical Theater writing initiative, and has received a grant from the Independence Foundation to further his work in finding a means of translating rock music to the page without losing its freedom and live quality.

Lastly — and most importantly — he is married to a spectacular actress, director, dramaturg and former John Deere Catalog Model whom he loves, along with his son Niall, more than any work he's ever done.

Campus Address

185 Nassau