Thursday, December 8, 2016 Kislev 8, 5777

Michael Elkin

The new National Museum of American Jewish History will soon have a new director. Ivy L. Barsky, deputy director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, will become director and chief operating officer on July 1. Her responsibilities will include "oversight of museum operations, including collections, exhibits, education, programs and visitor...
Israeli director puts his ear to the ground of a Bedouin village, and is startled at just what he doesn't hear
Silence is golden and, in some cases, pure gold. Just look at filmmaker Oded Adomi Leshem's bulging bio and see it glisten from the addition of "Voices From El-Sayed." El-Sayed says it all for the Israeli director's career soundtrack as he shows his film about the Israel village with, it is reported, the most deaf/hearing-impaired residents per capita on the...
Israeli Oren Peli offers an insider's look at 'Insidious'
Oren Peli is a super natural as a horror-meister. The guy scares the hell out of me. But, as Oren knows, it's nothing personal; all professional. After all, what's not to like about this 39-year-old sweet sabra of a one-time software programmer now programming hard-hearted spine-chilling chillers? Peli pelts the movie-goer with popcorn flicks that seemingly pop out of the...
Son's film disputes commission's faulting his father in part for Yom Kippur debacle
MOVIE MANIA Father's daze? What better way to define the dizzying dips of befuddlement and undeniable deep sense of frustration that met Yair Elazar on his quest to find out about his mysterious father? Yair yearned for those evasive truths that would define the dad he knew only briefly since he died when Yair was only 10. But the missing...
Wishing "L'chaim" to Anna Deavere Smith is not so much a toast to good health as test of talent. Indeed, raising a glass in hope helps raise the bar of how high she is willing to go to expose the health-care experience that is in extremis in this country. If all the world's a stage, all the health-care industry should...


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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