Saturday, August 30, 2014 Elul 4, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Tovah Feldshuh wows all in 'Irena's Vow'
Helena ... Irena. Irena ... Helena. David Letterman at the Oscars? No, but maybe Tovah at the Tonys. Much-honored actress Tovah Feldshuh, who starred in TV's "Holocaust" more than 30 years ago, essaying the role of Czech partisan Helena Slomova, may very well have the part of her life on stage now as a Holocaust hero and Polish patriot in...
Filmmaker turns father figure into focal point of award-winning movie
The Moses of mosaics, with South Street his Sinai, Isaiah Zagar, zigging while other artists zag, has also broken a commandment or two. No burning bushes to bemoan, but a number of burned bridges by an artist whose creativity has also cratered his own life, beset by beauties and beasts, and brushes with the bathetic, as well as greatness. All...
On the ... "Bubble." That is exactly where the Israeli Film Festival of Greater Philadelphia is bringing its viewers March 26 with an evening screening of the foxy Eytan Fox-directed film at Temple University. A seditious soap opera, "The Bubble" is not your bubba's "Helen Trent." A ménage of trouble arises only when an Israeli soldier brings his new male...
"Jerusalem: Center of the World" is central casting of history and histrionics as the city of light shaded in shrouds of secrecy and succession is brought to broadcast status this April 1 on WHYY-TV 12, beginning at 10 p.m. Mecca for monotheism as well as myths, there is nothing singular about Jerusalem, for more than 40 centuries central landscape of...
'Irena's Vow' writer pledges a play with integrity
Did Dan Gordon, whose books bore a celestial seal with Postcards From Heaven and whose directing credits included TV's road warrior, "Highway to Heaven," get heavenly messages on his highway to home some 20 years ago? In walk a rabbi, a minister and a priest ... "I was driving home in L.A., listening to this religious radio program," featuring a...


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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