Nine Hostage Arts LLC is run by Kittson O’Neill and Rob Kaplowitz. We are local theater artists who have created an exciting venue to develop new work, deepen artistic practices, and rock out.


Kittson is an actor, director and dramaturg, as well as an artistic leader. Recent Philadelphia acting credits include The Pilot in Interact’s Grounded, Hannah in the Lantern’s Arcadia, Lee Miller in Gas & Electric Arts’ Behind The Eye, and Mr. Doctor & Others in Aaron Cromie and Mary Tuomanen’s The Body Lautrec. She has also acted for PlayPenn, People’s Light & Theater, Inis Nua, New City Stages and Tiny Dynamite. She is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare in Clark Park, and the Artistic Associate at InterAct, for which she created and runs the Core Writers Program. As a director, credits include Shakespeare in Clark Park’s Coriolanus (2017) and The Winter’s Tale (2015), Emma Goidel’s We Can All Agree To Pretend This Never Happened for Tiny Dynamite, and A Knee That Can Bend for Orbiter 3 (Barrymore Nomination, best director), and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and  Eric Overmeyer’s On The Verge  for Hedgerow. Her film & TV credits include the feature films “200,000 Dirty” (with Coolio) and “Ghostlight” as well as the shorts “Mimeograph” (by installation artist Jenny Perlin), “15 Films” (A&E), & the TV shows “The Outsiders” and “Those Who Kill” (A&E). She is a graduate of The Shakespeare Lab at the NYSF Public Theater and of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s internship program.

Rob has spent the last 24 years designing sound and composing, and has been honored with an OBIE award for Sustained Excellence In Sound Design and a Tony Award for Fela!, among other highly flattering bits of recognition.  As an artist, he is most interested in the stories that deliberate sound and music tell, and how those stories interact with society.

Based in Philly since 2010, he has designed and/or composed here for companies including PlayPenn, The Wilma, Interact, The Arden, Lucidity Suitcase, Pig Iron, The Lantern and PTC. In NYC, his work has been heard on Broadway, as well as at The Apollo, The Signature, The Public, New York Theater Workshop, MTC, 2nd Stage, the Vineyard, MCC, and untold numbers of small theaters, most of which have likely since been closed by safety inspectors. His work has been heard regionally and internationally with venues and/or companies including The National Theatre of England, The Guthrie, The Alley, Dallas Theater Center, Sundance, the O’Neill, Pilobolus, BAM, the Kennedy Center, the Amsterdam Festival, Arts Emerson and the Expo Center in Lagos. He is the composer of two musical works –  and Minors, a commission from the Lantern Theater Company which premiered in June of 2019, and Leviathan (A Hard Rock Riff on Moby Dick).

He’s been the sound lead on installations for the Prague Quadrennial’s 36Q project (both “The Blue Hour” and the Lapidarium Project) and the Lincoln Center Library, and revised the live sound aspects of the National Constitution Center’s “Freedom Rising.”