Mark Kaplan ’87

Mark Kaplan '87This month, Mark Kaplan ’87 is our valentine. Kaplan studied theatre, literature, and art history as a student, and is now the vice president of sales and marketing for the Sound Services Group of Technicolor and volunteer director for Repertory East Playhouse.

What was your favorite spot on campus?
I didn’t have one favorite spot on campus, but a few. Since I spent so many of my days and nights there, the Workshop Theatre is probably tops, the coffee house was my late night hang out, and when I would go “missing” on campus, you could usually find me with a stack of song books in one of the Marshall Field piano rooms playing (and singing) for hours on end.

Do you have a favorite production you worked on while at Sarah Lawrence?
Again, tough to pick one. Whittling it down, “Hooters” where I had a crew import several tons of sand from Jones beach to the Workshop stage (via a Sarah Lawrence van that got stuck in the sand at Jones Beach) and had a brilliant cast of four: Jeff Jowdy ’86, Evan Georgopoulos ’89, Betsy Brody ’87, and Julianna Margulies ’89. I am sure they have all gone on to do great things.

How do you keep in touch with Sarah Lawrence friends?
Phone, text, Facebook and yes, an occasional letter!

How do you blend/balance your passion and your profession?
I am lucky in that my profession allows me the opportunity to continue my passions. A few times a year (television pilot season, the start of the new TV season, etc.) it becomes difficult, so I have learned not to work on any projects during those time. I direct 1-3 plays a year, develop new projects for film and broadcast, and sometimes do some stand-up. I have to also balance family within everything. It can be challenging, but worth it.

You’ve interviewed two alumni as part of Conversations with Alumni in Los Angeles. What’s that been like?
AWESOME! It was incredible to have Holly Robinson Peete '86 as our first guest with this new program. We went down memory lane and then discussed her experiences of raising an autistic son (whose twin sister was there and participated), her father, and her philanthropic activities on top of raising four children and having a successful career.

The second one was vastly different, having the “conversation” with Caroline Lieber ’80, one of the top genetic counselors in the field (listen here!). It was incredibly engaging and informative. The “Conversations with…” program is a great opportunity for alumni to get to know more about what happens after graduation…whether it be 10, 20, 30, etc. years later. At Sarah Lawrence, our classes were often conversations revolving around what we were learning. Here, we have a conversation and learn something (hopefully) new about an alum and their life. The response has been incredible and I look forward to many more “Conversations with…” and hope the program will expand to other regions.