Inqlings: Jiri Zizka ends run at Wilma

Charles S. Dutton (right), at Rouge, is developing a pilot for HBO.
Charles S. Dutton (right), at Rouge, is developing a pilot for HBO.
Posted: August 19, 2010

There's been a quiet exit for director Jiri Zizka, who is no longer part of Center City's Wilma Theater after more than 30 years.

More than a decade after he and his wife, Blanka, divorced, she now has the title they long shared: artistic director.

Over the last two weeks, Zizka's name was removed from the programming for the forthcoming season. A theater spokesman Wednesday could not describe the circumstances of his departure.

Zizka, who fled Czechoslovakia in 1976, entered the Philadelphia theater scene with an adaptation of Animal Farm on a budget of $600. The couple developed the company's space on Sansom Street and later at Broad and Spruce Streets. He did not return a message seeking his plans.

Film-production news

Future Weather, the story about a girl fretting over the environment, is in its second week of filming. Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams, Carnivàle) is shooting scenes in the wilds of Huntingdon Valley with Perla Haney-Jardine (Kill Bill: Vol. 2). Lili Taylor (Mystic Pizza, Say Anything . . .) is due to start her work on it Aug. 30. William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption) was here and is gone. Producer Kristin Fairweather and writer/director Jenny Deller have targeted the film's wrap for Sept. 3.

Media notes

NBC10 has lost the services of anchor/reporter Kristen Welker, who is joining NBC News in Burbank, Calif., a career goal for the Fairmount native and graduate of Germantown Friends (1994) and Harvard. Welker has been out there since June, on what she thought was a loan. Welker's parents are Julie Welker, a Realtor, and Harvey Welker, an engineer.

KYW Newsradio's Wally Kennedy starts this fall as an adjunct prof in the English department at Immaculata University. He previously taught at Temple.

Larry Kane will host congressional debates on his Comcast Network show Voice of Reason, and it's believed to be the first time they'll be shown in prime time. Sunday's first program (9:30 p.m.) will focus on the Pennsylvania Seventh, with Democrat Bryan Lentz and Republican Pat Meehan. Aug. 29 will feature New Jersey's Third: Democrat John Adler and Republican Jon Runyan. Sept. 12 is the Pennsylvania Eighth, where Democrat Patrick Murphy faces Republican Mike Fitzpatrick. The show is repeated the following Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Casting calls

The Style Network's Clean House seeks slobs to get a cleanup/public humiliation. Candidates must have three messy rooms in their home; two adults must live in said home; and it must be a single-family home (no apartments, condos, or townhouses). Application is at

The Food Network will be screening for its seventh season of The Next Food Network Star on Aug. 31 at the Loews Hotel. See for info.

The circuit

Charles S. Dutton (Roc) held forth over a laptop at Rittenhouse Square's Rouge Tuesday night. He's developing a pilot for HBO.

NBC's Meet the Press host David Gregory joined his 8-year-old and 5-year-old twins on a tour of the Cleopatra exhibition at the Franklin Institute while his wife, lawyer Beth Wilkinson, was in town putting in some billable hours.

Contact columnist Michael Klein at Follow his blog at and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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