Tuesday, July 29, 2014 Av 2, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Jay Leistner is getting in touch with his feminine side. All 300 pounds of it. An architect and interior designer who runs his own company in Jenkintown, Leistner has designs on what may be the role of his lifetime: Edna, the hefty housewife and heroine of Hairspray , the award-winning Broadway musical with a history of untraditional casting that puts...
It's a show about "Let's put on a show!" But its production values are none that Mickey Rooney or Judy Garland would recognize, and its gamble more a multimillion buck bet than a dime-a-dozen lucky shot. Welcome to the pink-hair coiffed, too.And along the way, it smashes stereotypes that theater can only accommodate the purple-hair set. Smash , Steven Spielberg...
For those not keyed in to Puxatawny Phil this morning, here are some "Stars" who cast their own huge shadows -- and this one comes with a serenade: Mimi Stillman -- flautist with the mostest? The acclaimed local musician and founder/guiding spirit of Dolce Suono Ensemble is shepherding her group to the concluding Mahler 100/Schoenberg 60 presentations this weekend in...
Society Photo Gallery
Can a regional medical center born of a need to serve 19th-century Jewish patients shunned for treatment elsewhere reclaim its birthright in the new millennium? Barry Freedman, president and CEO of Einstein Healthcare Network, is working on it. Serving the expanding facility, with 1,250 beds and more than 2,000 employed and affiliated physicians, residents and fellows for the past eight...


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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