Thursday, July 24, 2014 Tammuz 26, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
Actress Shoshanna Stern is deaf and defiantly powerful in 'Jericho'
Amid the din of bombs bursting in air in jigsawed "Jericho," Shoshanna Stern's voice can be heard far beyond the black rain that drizzles the geography of TV's only nuked neighborhood. The fourth-generation member of a deaf family and a member of the Tuesday-night CBS "Jericho" generation that has played Nielsen survivor and been granted immunity because its tribe of...
What kind of imprints do "African Footprints" leave in the desert sands of Israel? "Ah, good, friendly ones," says Themba Ndaba. "Yes, good ones." He should know. Ndaba is part of the "African Footprints" performance group, an ensemble from South Africa that has toured internationally -- including Israel -- bringing its mix of merry and mellifluous song and dance to...
Key bored? Not even at the age of 80! But his birthday is just another jaunty working day for Byron Janis -- although there aren't many who get to celebrate with a performance before an anticipated crowd of hundreds and have their cake candles blown out at the New York Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center. But then, this Byron...
Joseph Cedar's war film may net Israel a piece of Sunday's awards drama
Cedar's of Lebanon? Cedars of Hollywood! Indeed, that's where Joseph Cedar will be this weekend, as his Lebanon-based "Beaufort" awaits its date with Oscar in the best foreign film category on Sunday night, in ceremonies to be broadcast on ABC. A Kodak Theater moment? "Beaufort," based on the bombed bastion of the Lebanon war, in which Israel's 18-year chai of...
Is it any wonder that the director of a treasured and trumpeted Israeli film about an Egyptian police band from Alexandria should be concerned about ... tone? Strike up the "Band" -- Eran Kolirin certainly has, with "The Band's Visit," a sentimental journey of Jews and Arabs that strikes just the right ... tone. "Tone is important to me," says...


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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