Chapter 8 of Shakespeare, Shamans, and Show Biz: An Impolite Guide to Theater History: Roman Theater. This chapter focuses on Roman theater at the time of the Roman republic and focuses on Roman playwrights Plautus, Terence and Seneca and how they are of different quality than the Greek playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes and how Roman theater survives in sitcoms, horror films, vaudeville, Shakespeare, Molière, and musical comedy.e textbook Five Approaches to Acting, still in print from Hansen Publishing Group, used in colleges and universities in America, Canada, and Italy.
Most of Kaplan’s professional students had previously received undergraduate training, often from conservatories in which theater history and scholarly research had been taught as something separate from the artist’s preparation and creative process. A “world-of-the-play” analysis became a hallmark of studying with Kaplan who also lectured at NYU, Columbia, Bard, Rutgers, and Hofstra on subjects as diverse as Racine, Shakespeare, Stanislavsky, Ibsen, and Ubu Roi.
Putting into practice his theory that a text meant for the theater, in any language, is essentially a recipe for human relationships, in1995 Kaplan taught a semester (in Russian) at The Siberian Institute of Fine Arts in Ulan Ude, followed by annual teaching stints in Central Russia at the Samara branch of Moscow Pedagogical State Institute. In 2001 he was invited to teach master classes to the Hong Kong Repertory Theater’s company of actors. In 2009 Paolo Asso, the translator of the Italian version of Five Approaches to Acting, invited Kaplan to help organize and lecture at Italy’s Metodifest, now in its fourth year, a gathering of acting teachers and professional students from all over Europe. In 2012 Kaplan will teach at Mexico’s International Acting Festival: Actuando Sin Actuar in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
In 2003 Kaplan constructed two theater history courses using web pages to disseminate information and encourage students to research on their own. Out of those classes a methodology was created, using a range of online sources to accelerate students’ engagement with text, research, and performance. A Guide to Theater History is the result.