Jeffrey Kaplan

Jeffrey Kaplan, MFA, PhD

Assistant Professor, Dance & Theatre

About Me

Jeff Kaplan is an Assistant Professor in Dance & Theatre in the Division of Fine and Performing Arts.  He holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland, and an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman's University.  In addition to a career in modern dance, Kaplan has developed a body of evening-length "text and movement" solo work, in which he dances and speaks simultaneously, including The Erl King, a World War I piece based on Göthe's classic ghost poem, Der Erlkönig; one-person King Lear, and a solo rendition of Beowulf, in Anglo-Saxon.  He presented a text-and-movement solo piece, "Iftu's Story" at the American Dance Guild Festival at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in Fall 2019.  His book, Involuntary Motion: The Somatics of Refugee Performance (Routledge, forthcoming Fall 2020) reads the world's seventy-one million displaced persons as bodies in motion, and so uses the language of dance as a lens to understand problems in refugee performance.  His articles appear in The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Nordic Theatre Studies, and Text and Presentation, in addition to a growing resume of trade publications.

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Theatre and Performance Studies, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park
Dance, MFA, Texas Woman's University
History, BA, Grinnell College
Feature Publications


Involuntary Motion: The Somatics of Refugee Performance (Routledge)

Forthcoming Fall 2020


“Dancing with the Dragon: Orality and (Body) Language(s) in a Live Performance of Beowulf,” Nordic Theatre Studies 28, no. 2, “Theatre and Language” (Dec. 2017).

“The Dance of Distance Poetry: Plato’s Ion and the Psychology of Acting,” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 33, vol. 1 (Fall 2017).

“Theatre of the Brain: The Science of Mental Rehearsal,” Teaching Theatre (Nov. 2019).