Friday, December 19, 2014 Kislev 27, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Playwright's 'Driving Miss Daisy' a GPS of the heart
Silver flasks seem appropriate accoutrements for those sipping a taste of the southern comfort that is "Driving Miss Daisy" as it approaches its silver anniversary. The South will rise again -- but for the first time on Broadway -- with playwright Alfred Uhry once again in the driver's seat. This time -- 22 years after taking home the Pulitzer Prize...
CNN brings battle lines bedside
"Take two tablets and call me in the morning" is the proverbial advice offered up by many a doctor to a less-than-seriously sick patient. But must that divine advice -- and those tablets -- be as revered as the 10 Commandments? Thou shall not ... contradict your doctor? Au contraire, argues Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent for CNN's Health, Medical...
Peek at Valli: Writer Marshall Brickman arrives in Philly as a big man in town
Walk like a mensch? Marshall Brickman has the steps down pat. Brazilian-born Brickman and poker-playing buddy Rick Elice are the Jewish boys/book writers behind "Jersey Boys," the Garden State of mind musical which has minted a quartet of Tonys -- and a guy named Frankie -- in its terrific telling of the Four Seasons story (vivacious in ways Vivaldi couldn't...
The design business is not for the fashion weak, which says much for Lower Moreland's Paula Shapiro that she's reached its upper echelon. Indeed, the Upper Dublin graduate has proved a class act with accolades from the design elite for filling her fashion plate with casual, cost-effective yet high-end appearing apparel courtesy of the Huntress, the New York-based firm she...
Oldest Jewish person -- a local -- passes from scene
She saw it all. And when you're 111, that's a wealth of history. Fannie Forman Buten, believed to be the oldest Jewish person in the world, died on Sept. 24. Before her death, which was brought on by a stroke, the Bala Cynwyd resident was listed as the "oldest living" Jewish person "whose age had been verified," according to Robert...


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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