Our Team


Stephen Kaplin

Founder, Co-Artistic Director, Arts in Education Director, Technical Director, Puppeteer, Teaching Artist

Mr. Kaplin designs, builds, performs and directs for puppet theater. He studied puppetry at UCONN under Dr. Frank Ballard. Recent professional credits include: designing and building giant puppets for TIMES SQUARE 2000; building shadow figures and puppet sequences for Julie Taymor’s Lion King, Juan Darien and The Green Bird; designing shadow sequences for Lee Breuer’s Peter and Wendy; co-design and construction of puppets for the Public Theater’s The Tempest and The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

Since 1995 he has designed sets and puppets and performed in all CTW productions. Mr. Kaplin is a co-founding member of Great Small Works. He has been co-Artistic Director of Chinese Theatre Works since its formation in 2001. Mr. Kaplin´s first book (with Kuang-Yu Fong), Tabletop Theater: Puppetry for Small Places, was published in 2003.

Kuang Yu-Fong

Executive & Co-Artistic Director

Kuang-Yu Fong majored in Chinese Opera at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, where she also taught for four years before coming to New York City in 1983. She received an M.A. in Educational Theater at N.Y.U and became a resident artist upon graduation. She has been a guest professor at the Chinese Opera Academy in Beijing since 1998 and a visiting graduate professor at the University of Maryland in 2008. She was an assistant professor Pace University till 2012.

Ms. Fong has toured and taught all over the United States and in Asia and Europe. She is the founder of Chinese Theatre Workshop (1995) and Chinese Theatre Works (2001), with whom she conceived, wrote and directed dozens of original, innovative productions, many of which have been honored with awards, including: “Toy Theater Peony Pavilion,” “Three Women, Many Plays,” “Tiger Tales” and “Songs From the Yellow Earth.”

Ms Fong has written numerous articles for scholarly journals and for Chinese language magazines. Her first book (co-authored with Stephen Kaplin) is Tabletop Theater: Puppetry for Small Places (2003). She translated Dr. Nellie McCaslin’s book Shows on the Shoestring into Chinese. She has been a panelist for NYSCA, Lower Manhattan Council Foundation and Asian American Arts Alliance She was the first Asian-American to elected to the board of UNIMA-USA.