Thursday, October 30, 2014 Heshvan 6, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Composer Charles Strouse Gershman Y's wise choice for honor
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Forget Doppler1000, forget AccuWeather. Hibernate this, Puxatawney Phil: Charles Strouse is the most successful weather forecaster of all time. After all, the man who wrote "Grey skies are going to clear up," and "The sun will come out tomorrow" has been right 100 percent of the time. Take that, Weather Channel, and stick it where the sun ... well, where...
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David Block has a hurt locker crammed with memories that he wants to share for Memorial Day. With low funds but high-octane energy, he has been pushing and promoting "Abandoned Heroes," his daring documentary of veterans facing more difficult wars at home than they did on battlefields, as disrespect and misunderstandings sometimes sear hearts harder than shrapnel. To that end,...
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Spotlight on Center City for star talent? Here's the proof
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Does Aretha Franklin have an avatar in Rodney Robb? Better yet -- does Rodney Dangerfield? Fix him up with a skinny tie, a rumpled shirt, bug-out eyes, and I tell ya, I tell ya, that Rodney Robb gets no respect. Well, respect this: As owner/president of the Actors Center and Baby Boomers Talent Management, Robb can count among his alums...
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Connie Williams is as familiar with the canvas of the state capitol as she is with the frameworks of beauty that is the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Now, the longtime former state representative and senator from the Main Line is a main draw in the art world: She has brought her whipsaw smarts and soulful style to the Philadelphia Museum of...
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Noa and Mira lend their voices to a note of Mideast peace and harmony
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Give peace a chance? How about giving it a musical backbeat? Chances are that Noa and Mira Awad are aware of and in sync with the possibilities. The two -- vocalist Noa, known to millions of Israelis as Achinoam Nini; and Arab-Israeli singer Awad -- awake each day to the steely soundtracks of combative and combustible backgrounds that is the...
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Profile

Michael Elkin has worked as the Exponent Arts & Entertainment and Features editors for some 40 years.

He has won some 40 national and regional writing awards over his career as well as three fellowships in playwriting and screenwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

His arts articles — including working as a jazz critic for the Evening and Sunday Bulletin; book reviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer; and rock reviewer/TV writer for the Camden Courier-Post  — and op-eds have appeared throughout North America; his plays have been staged internationally, including runs in Romania — one play running for  five years —  Israel, Germany, Los Angeles and, locally, the Walnut Street Theatre and People's Light and Theatre Company. He is a  Tony Award voter and is a member of a national new play selection committee handing out an annual award to an  up-and-coming playwright.

He worked as a mentor with the Philadelphia Young Playwrights' outreach program to area high schools and at one point headed up the playwriting program at the Walnut Street Theatre School.  His play "Cries in the Night" was cited in the book "The Best Plays of 1992-93," in the "New Plays From Around the Country" category. His travel articles have appeared nationally and he has worked as a travel editor for Fodor's Travel Guides.

As a screenwriter, he  was asked by filmmaker John Frankenheimer ("Birdman of Alcatraz," "The Manchurian Candidate"), with whom he then worked,  to write a script for Frankenheimer to direct.

He has moderated and taken part in national conferences both here and in New York on topics ranging from hip-hop/rap to theater to comedy and has served as a board member of film and theater arts groups.

Elkin has appeared on area TV and radio shows and served as arts critic for the cable program "Our Town." He has been cited in reference books for his investigative work on TV as an influential social medium. For his expertise in film and theater, Elkin was asked to — and did — serve as on-screen interviewer of actor Richard Dreyfuss in a documentary about the American Music Theater Festival, with which Dreyfuss was involved.

A graduate of Temple University — he also studied screenwriting at New York University and attended the University of Houston Bates School of Law — Elkin was honored to be Temple's commencement speaker in the mid-90s. He also taught journalism at Temple as well as screenwriting at La Salle University.
 

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