Meet PST's Admin-Artists:
"The Power Streeters"
Gabriela 'Gabi' Sanchez,
Co-Artistic Director &
Gabriela Serena Sanchez, Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Power Street Theatre, has created a Women of Color- led multicultural theatre collective with fellow artists, culturally producing, directing and starring in several powerful new plays in the heart of el barrio. A Philadelphia native, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Temple University. Her life's work has been dedicated to theatre, cultural preservation, racial justice and feminism. Gabi's intent is to take up space and invite others to do the same, "with our bodies, our languages, our cultures, our stories."
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, Gabi has explored the diverse imaginations of youth with the Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Passage Theatre, Theatre Horizon and more.
In Spring 2021, Gabriela was an honoree for the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty: A celebration of the brightest, diverse young professionals in Philadelphia. She received a Citation from Council of the City of Philadelphia for her dedicated work in theatrical production (2020). Gabriela is also a proud recipient of the NEXUS Initiative Artist Grant (2021), Map Fund Artist Grant (2020), Phenomenal Women’s Award (2020), Leeway Art and Change Grant (2016, 2019), GALAEI David Acosta Revolutionary Award (2017), Knight Foundation Emerging City Champions Fellowship (2018) and keynote speaker with Quiara Alegría Hudes at the 2018 Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference, in addition, to the plenary speaker for the 2019 Theatre Communications Group National Conference.
Co-Artistic Director &
Erlina Ortiz is a Dominican-American playwright, performer, and theatre maker from Reading, PA. Her heartfelt and humorous plays ranging from topics of gentrification, women's rights, and cultural preservation have been presented with Power Street Theatre where she is proud to be Co-Artistic Director.
In 2018 her play Las Mujeres received The Bonaly Award for Creation of Community Joy and in 2019 her play Morir Sonyando was nominated for six Barrymore Awards including Outstanding New Play.
Erlina has received the Amtrak Writer’s residency where she traveled across the United States in an Amtrak sleeper car, the Signal Fire Outpost Residency where she lived on the side of a mountain for a week, and in 2019 she gave the Keynote Address at the Delaware Writer’s Conference on the importance of nurturing your artistic community. In 2021 she began serving as secretary of the board for Theatre Philadelphia.
Erlina was a member of NEXUS with New York Stage and Film and is a two time recipient of the Leeway Art and Change Grant and the 2021 Leeway Transformation Award.
In Fall 2021 she received her professional Philly premiere with Young Money at Azuka Theatre which went on to receive the ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Citation. In 2022 her play La Egoista was selected for the LTC Comedy Carnaval in Denver and her new musical Siluetas was selected for the O’Neill National Musical Theatre Conference. 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.
Director of Marketing
& Social Media
A native from New York City, Jose Alicea is an arts and culture curator, producer, and most importantly a loving father. In 2017, Jose founded Souletri a creative community platform that connects poets, musicians, and artists with fans from around the world. Jose has mentored and amplified artists by curating events in intimate venues and joyful virtual platforms reaching audiences from North America to the Caribbean. Souletri's programs have been featured in NYC at The West End Lounge, The Triad Theatre, Harlem Nights and NYC Poetry Festival. In 2019, Souletri's events expanded to Philadelphia selling out comedy shows and open mics at Izla Verda Cafe, W/N W/N, and the Vine. In 2020, Souletri adapted their outreach to digital platforms and a podcast, sparking a wave of global artistic programs such as Soul Untapped, Soul at Home, Sofa Soul and the Songs for the Soul podcast. Jose has partnered with Villaman Media in Puerto Rico to create a digital series called Alma Del Puerto Rico, in addition, he has collaborated with Artistic Creative Theatre and Capicu Culture for a virtual youth night. In 2021, Jose was a lead organizer for the Digital Rally to Save Philadelphia's Arts and Culture with Power Street Theatre (PST). Currently, Jose works for the Department of Public Health of Philadelphia and well as the Marketing and Social Media Manager at PST and Literary Agent for J&B Press publishing house. He is dedicated to supporting the growth and development of artists. Jose will be the curator for PST's upcoming digital series on our social media: Story Teller SpotLight, Behind the Story Teller, Power Talks and more!
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. Asaki has MA in Theatre and Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Villanova University, where she focused on costume design and construction, as well as non-profit management to serve Power Street’s mission and future dreams better. Since graduation Asaki has been working at Arden Theatre Co., InterAct Theater, Ursinus College, Arcadia University, Drexel University, and many more as a Costume Designer. 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 a more authentic way.
PST "Primos" are amazing people who worked with, contributed, and played a huge part of PST's growth and development over the years, and we cannot thank enough for the time and talent they poured into.
Fellow Temple Alum, Krystal Rosa, was 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 led to her role as Social Media Coordinator. Krystal has been part of the Philadelphia theatre community for years and has learned so much thanks to the opportunities provided by PST! To follow Krystal's artistic journey, visit her artist website and find her on Instagram @sometimesimkool.
Diana Rodriguez is an actress, costume designer, and former 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 actively worked 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 for the opportunities and blessings she has received from the Philadelphia theatre community and first and foremost - the Power Street family.
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 brought 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.