Friday, July 11, 2014 Tammuz 13, 5774

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
To get a good job, get a good education. Adam Tsekhman got both by going to jail. But he ended his sentence with a declarative spasibo ("thank you"), putting a period on the period he spent incarcerated in a Russian cell. Bang the shoe slowly? No, Tsekhman's tsuris was of the scripted variety as the young up-and-comer got down and...
Kurds and ... Wait. A Kurdish comedy? Is that or is that not the smartest oxymoron to come out of filmland since the term "gross profit" was coined? Is there a statue of limitations since Hussein and his icon were toppled or can "Saddam: The Musical" be far behind? Jay Jonroy is not one to be left behind, especially when...
Brian's song is one of sorrowful soul music, of hope ripped from hearts and lives lost at the hands of merciless monsters. It all plays out on a battlefield of barbaric dimensions rather than on a football field of fun and games, however, as Team Darfur is very much on the losing end of the twilight zone marked off by...
Will the next winner be a klezmer king? The series comes to the city
Worshiping false idols? Moses, it's time to climb down that mountain once more: The real "Idols" are coming early next year. But there has to be a starting point. And, in Philadelphia, where more than 1,776 -- more like 17,776 -- are expected to jam the Wachovia Center, "American Idol" -- in its great run up to the series next...
If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. But Ben Feldman had the time. A successful New York big-shot, big-time lawyer and a real success at being in real estate, he left it behind to turn to crime. "It's such a kick," says Feldman. Kick it up a notch: His mid-19th-century crime story -- not his, but the...


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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