Carol Kaplan has broad experience advising clients on licensing, acquisition, disposition, financing and exploitation of intellectual property assets within and across multiple platforms, including in connection with live theatre, immersive events, film, television and new media exploitations.
She has excellent relationships in the live-stage industry, and worked in the field as a writer, director and producer prior to becoming a lawyer. Carol’s hands-on experience makes her uniquely qualified to work with both experienced and first-time theater producers, and her clients turn to her to provide general and deal-specific legal and strategic advice essential to the development, production and exploitation of traditional and non-traditional live stage properties. She also represents writers, directors, designers and innovators in connection with employment, services and rights agreements.
Carol provides up-to-date business and legal advice to major media companies including film and TV studios and content streaming companies as well as individual owners of iconic intellectual property, on licensing their content for exploitation on stage as self-produced, or third party-produced, works. She counsels creators and creative producers on acquiring rights; engaging creative, management and key production personnel; creating joint ventures; dealing with cross-border rights and production issues; as well as advising producers, individual investors and domestic and international production and financing companies on all aspects of financing and fund-raising, from seed money to private placement offerings. Her practical counsel is grounded in her working knowledge and experience of the theater industry.
Throughout her two-decade legal career, Carol has advised non-profit theaters around the country on production matters, including joint ventures, enhancement arrangements, conflicts of interest policies and a wide array of other matters of particular importance to non-profit organizations. She works closely with general managers, managing directors, and artistic directors of non-profits, supporting their needs on day-to-day issues and concerns as well as unique and unexpected matters that impact on season planning and implementation. Carol is a thought-leader in this area, providing sophisticated counsel to institutional theaters, commercial producers, theater boards and other stakeholders, and she works closely with colleagues in Loeb’s non-profit organization practice, to provide practical, up-to-date guidance on key issues. Over her career, she has represented major flagship non-profit theaters, as well as smaller, emerging non-profits, both within and outside of New York City. Past and current clients include Lincoln Center Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, The Flea Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, The Alley, and Hartford Stage.
Prior to joining Loeb, Carol was a partner at Mitchell Silberberg and Knapp, and previous to that, was an attorney at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, and an in-house production attorney in the business and legal affairs department at Nickelodeon.
Carol frequently presents continuing legal education seminars and participates on panels hosted by the New York Bar Association, the Commercial Theatre Institute and others on legal aspects of live stage producing. She has been recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in Entertainment Law: Theater, in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021 and 2022; named in Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, in New York Media & Entertainment: Theatre since 2018-2021; named a “Top Dealmaker” in Variety’s “Dealmakers Impact Report” (2017); a “New York Metro Super Lawyer” in Entertainment and Sports in 2017-2019 and in 2021; and named in The Legal 500 US in Media & Entertainment, (2019-2021). Prior to joining Loeb, Carol served on the Board of Directors of The Flea Theater.
Carol was Editor-in-Chief of Law Review at New York University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude, and was a member of the Order of the Coif. Her published legal writing includes: Once More unto the Breach, Dear Friends: Broadway Dramatists, Hollywood Producers, and the Challenge of Conflicting Copyright Norms, published in Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, Volume 16 (2014); The Devil is in the Details: Neutral, Generally Applicable Laws and Exceptions from Smith published in NYU Law Review, Vol 75 (2000); Voices Rising: An Essay on Gender Justice and Theater in South Africa, published in Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Spring/Summer, 2005. Carol is a member of the New York City Bar Association.
Carol has an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, and attended the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies. She has received nominations, awards and citations for her film and live stage work. For the current winter/spring 2022 semester, Carol is co-teaching a class on Law and the Arts at the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. She is delighted to have recently joined the Board of Directors of Classical Theatre of Harlem.