Friday, October 9, 2015 Tishri 26, 5776

Michael Elkin

Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival: Older and wiser?
The old saw said, "Don't trust anyone over 30." Does that include film festivals and their directors? Trust us, says Judith Golden, the golden goal-oriented chair of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival as it celebrates its 30th anniversary and looks to the future with its usual eclectic list of flicks that click with connoisseurs and auteurs as well as...
And a former Miss Pennsylvania is applying her own antidotes
Doctor, heal thyself? Sharyn Wynters took the advice very personally. The former Miss Pennsylvania/Miss World from the Northeast abandoned her world of acting and fashion modeling -- working for Oleg Cassini -- after she contracted cancer at age 26, to study and become a "naturopathic doctor." It is an amazing life path that made her a natural choice to be...
Class act: 'Best and Brightest' takes on kindergarten and those pushy parents
I have a 2-year-old, and damned if I'm going to let Neil Patrick Harris and Bonnie Somerville snap up the last space in preschool for their kid. Oh. Wait. I have to tell myself: It's only a movie. It's only a movie. But "The Best and the Brightest" may be the funniest in quite some time, with its focus on...
"Greenwich Village Hooligans"? Gee, why didn't he think of that, chuckles director/writer (with Michael Jaeger) Josh Shelov of what he could have called "The Best and the Brightest." Because, probably, the writer of "Green Street Hooligans" -- Shelov's acclaimed other major credit -- would have been repeating himself. And, one thing's for sure: Shelov is an original. It shines through...
Prodigy-cum-applauded Philly flutist strikes notes for history
How sweet the sound of the Dolce Suono Ensemble. And how sweet the sincerity of Mimi Stillman, the Philly flutist with a filigree of fame spread worldwide since founding the ensemble five years ago. For a flutist who flaunts an impressive bio that includes being the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music -- she was...


Michael Elkin worked for the Jewish Exponent for over 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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