Meet our Tribe
Gabriela 'Gabi' Sanchez,
Co-Artistic Director & Producer
Gabriela inspires and supports creative innovations among art and culture organizations, artists, youth and community members, while centering the magic of collaboration and collective power. A Philadelphia native, she received a Bachelor
of Arts in Theater from Temple University. Her former leadership roles include: Director of Education at Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Cultural Enrichment and Facility Manager at Taller Puertorriqueño, and six years in residence at the Department of Recreation with Conflict Resolution Theater. As a teaching artist currently working for the Arden Theatre Company and Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Gabriela has used theatre to activate imaginations within diverse classrooms for over a decade. Gabriela is a proud recipient of the Leeway Art and Change Grant (2016, 2019), GALAEI David Acosta Revolutionary Leadership Award (2017), the Knight Foundation’s Emerging City Champions Fellowship (2018), and was a keynote speaker alongside Quiara Alegría Hudes at the 2018 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference: Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest, in addition, to the plenary speaker for the 2019 Theatre Communications Group National Conference.
Resident Production Manager & Executive Floater
Asaki Kuruma is originally from Yokohama, Japan, and has been working professionally for over a decade collaborating with many theater companies and artists in the Philadelphia area, such as Curtis Opera, Pig Iron Theater Company, and Lantern Theater Company as a stage manager, wardrobe supervisor, and performer. Asaki has been focusing on costume design since the 2018-2019 season, notably for Power Street's 2018 production of Las Mujeres, when she was honored with the 2018 Surya Award by Bonaly Reviews. Other design credits are; Man of God (InterAct Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Villanova Theatre), Boycott Esther (Azuka Theatre), Romeo & Juliet, Complete History of America (Abridged) (Commonwealth Classic Theater Company), Tiger Style! (Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists), Romeo & Juliet (Lantern Theater Company), and more to come! Asaki has MA in Theater and Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Villanova University, where she focused on costume design and construction, as well as production and non-profit management to serve Power Street’s mission and future dreams. As one of her passions of advocacy, her future plan also includes diving into more translation and cultural consultant work to create a stronger bridge for Japanese culture to be appreciated in more authentic way.
Co-Artistic Director &
Erlina Ortiz is a Dominican-American playwright, performer, and theatre maker from Reading, PA. She graduated with a BA in Theatre from Temple University. Her heartfelt and timely plays on gentrification, domestic violence, and cultural preservation have been produced with Power Street Theatre where she is proud to be Co-Artistic Director and Resident Playwright. She has performed for WHYY’s First Person Arts series, and in 2019 she gave the Keynote Address at the Delaware Writer’s Conference. Erlina has received the Amtrak Writer’s residency, the Signal Fire Outpost Residency, and her play She Wore Those Shoes had a developmental reading at Theatre Exile’s Studio X-hibition Series. In 2018 Erlina’s play Las Mujeres premiered with Power Street to sold out houses and rave reviews picking up a Bonaly Award for Creation of Community Joy, and in Spring 2019 her play Morir Sonyando was nominated for six Barrymore Awards at Theatre Philadelphia including Outstanding New Play. Erlina is a 2020 recipient of the Leeway Art and Change Grant. She has taught playwriting with the University of the Arts, Power Street Theatre, and Blue Stoop phl. Erlina believes being an artist is a superpower, she believes in using her powers for good.
Fellow Temple Alum, Krystal Rosa, is Power Street's Social Media Coordinator. After working on PST's show, Las Mujeres as Lena, she wanted to be part of their tribe. Krystal started out as an intern which then created her current role as Social Media Coordinator. Krystal has been part of the Philadelphia theatre community for 3 years and has learned so much thanks to the opportunities provided by PST! Her credits are: No Good Things Dwell In the Flesh (Yocum Institute), The Dumb Waiter (Wings of Paper Theatre), La Gringa (Teatro Del Sol), Much Ado About Nothing (Del Shakes) and more. To follow Krystal's artistic journey, visit her artist website and find her on Instagram @sometimesimkool.
Affiliated Artist & Language Assistant
Diana Rodriguez is an actress, costume designer and resident artist of Power Street Theatre. Best known for her portrayal of the eccentric and iconic artist Frida Khalo in Erlina Ortiz' play Las Mujeres. This Puerto Rico native has been actively working with Power Street and in Philadelphia theatre since she first moved here in 2014. You may recognize Diana from productions such as: Morir Sonyando, Shelter in Place, She Wore Those Shoes, Out of Orbit, Philly Young Playwrights’ El Jefe, One Day Old, and La Fabrica’s production of A 2.50 la Cuba Libre de Ibrahim Guerra under the direction of Jose Aviles. Most recently Diana appeared in Teatro del Sol’s production of La Gringa. Diana is grateful of the opportunities and blessings she has received from the Philadelphia theatre community and first and foremost - the Power Street family.
& Education Development and Touring Outreach Coordinator
Anjoli Santiago is a Temple graduate and was a successful teaching artist and actor for seven years in Philadelphia working with several theater companies in the area. She relocated to New York to be a full time Special Education teacher in the South Bronx and get her Master’s in Education from CUNY City College. Her journey then carried her to the world of non-profit education and she is proud to be an Education Coordinator with Classroom Champions. There Anjoli works to innovate programming and bring support to teachers nationwide. Working with Power Street Theater, Anjoli brings her knowledge to build and enhance the education outreach experience. You may recognize Anjoli as Sor Juana from Las Mujeres, Deborah in MinorityLand and Cali in Children's Festival.
Katherine Heilman’s work utilizes thoughtful communication, arts and culture, and direct social services to solve complex problems, cultivate individual transformations, and nurture social-justice movements. She is a writer and artist living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Katherine graduated from Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design with her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Three Dimensional in 2012. She then went on to attend the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy, a hybrid online and in-person eight-month program of University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice and National Arts Strategies in Washington, D.C. and received a certificate in 2015. During her 12 years in Philadelphia, she worked at Taller Puertorriqueño and Norris Square Neighborhood Project in fundraising and marketing roles and dabbled in curating and as a teaching artist. Her passion for community has led her to a position as Director of Communications at Our Daily Bread, a Cincinnati soup kitchen.