Kaplan grew up in Staten Island, New York during the 70's. He bounced around a couple of schools before graduating from a highly progressive private school in Brooklyn Heights. He attended The University of Michigan, where he became adept at moving through large bureacracies while exploring the diverse culture found in Ann Arbor. There, Kaplan encountered the work of Bertholt Brecht and Edward Bond while studying world literature. Kaplan then lived in Seattle in the late 80's where the New City Theater performed his first feature length play, "The Meateaters' Comedy" as part of their New Works Festival. Kaplan then returned to New York and entered public education. He taught for four years, and wrote plays that were performed all over New York, including: "Marriage in Venice", "The Hellffire Cafe", "Landfill", "Denial of the Fittest" (which played in both the lower east side of Manhattan (The Space at 1st and 1st") and Staten Island at the Cargo Cafe. Kaplan's itinerant company also produced "Wild Things", a fantasy play based on South American and African folk lore. Wild Things was performed in Union Square, West End Avenue, Washington Square Park, and in The Fountain Plaza at Lincoln Center.
Kaplan then moved to Los Angeles to study film making at The American Film Institute. In 1997, Kaplan was invited to Beijing, China to co-write a two documentaries about Tibetan Buddhism. Ini 1998, he was invited back to write the screenplay for A Time to Remember (hong se lian ren), which starred Leslie Cheung and won several international awards. While in China, Kaplan discovered Chinese classical works that he was never exposed to, incuding The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, Outlaws of the Marsh, and Dreams of Red Mansions.
Kaplan enjoys works by: Rabelais, Dostoyevsky, Checkov, Voltaire, Italo Calvino, Thomas Hardy, Milan Kundera, Kahlil Gibran, Chinua Achibe, Ntozake Shange, Naomi Shahib Nye, and many others.
Kaplan re-entered public school service while working as a Writer-for-Hire. In 2009, A Thousand Beauties, his first novel was published by Bewrite Books.