Thursday, July 31, 2014 Av 4, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Operation Understanding, which originated in Philadelphia in 1985 as a way to build bridges between Jewish and African-American high school students by sending them together on trips to Israel and Africa, celebrated its recent successful forays on domestic fronts, particularly throughout the South. At the gathering at the National Museum of American Jewish History, Urban League of Philadelphia president and...
Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C., managing shareholder Mitchell S. Kaplan (left); Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams (center); and Zarwin Baum law firm shareholder Theodore Schaer celebrate the law firm’s fundraiser for Fresh Smiles Foundation, which helps low-income kids in following their dreams. The gathering was held at Chima in Center City.
Settlement Music School’s 106th anniversary gala certainly brought the sounds of joy from the many revelers who showed up to honor the legendary school at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Center City. Having a good old gala of a time (from left) are Thomas Scott and Ilana Eisenstein; Bruce and Toby Eisenstein; Andrew and Ricki Eisenstein; and Debra and...
The former NBA player and SPHAs star scored his biggest successes as the coach who was always on the wrong side of the scoreboard in games against the Harlem Globetrotters.
"Devotion by the Ocean" drew some 300 congregants to Shabbat services in Ventnor, N.J., this past Friday.


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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