Photo Credit: Jen Cleary
History & Mission
Power Street Theatre, founded in 2012 by Gabriela Sanchez and Erlina Ortiz, has grown into a collective of fierce multicultural and multidisciplinary artists.
We are dedicated to connecting multicultural and intergenerational communities through the performing arts by sharing original stories that innovate and inspire.
In the past eight years Power Street has produced ten full productions in addition to developing an educational program called Land & Body, which provides adults free theatre classes in North Philly. Power Street continues to grow artistically and with their new educational programs.
Power Street is a member of The CultureTrust of Greater Philadelphia. We're so thankful to CultureWorks who provides a charitable home and affordable shared management resources for arts and heritage programs of diverse disciplines and cultural traditions.
Art and Social Change
PST nurtures a culture of access, advocacy, and appreciation for the arts. We utilize theatre to create spaces that encourage dialogue about political and social issues.
We believe we are creating art of radical resistance and that honoring the stories of our community is revolutionary.
As theatre artists, we believe in rising together. PST’s success has spawned from coming together as artists for a bigger dream beyond our own individual artistic successes. We can accomplish a lot as individuals, but we also acknowledge that we free ourselves from oppressive systems by coming together in movement work. We give and take, learn to negotiate, share our talents and resources, and know that our liberation is bound up with yours.
PST works to dismantle hierarchies in order to build a more just and equitable future. We pay our artists. We believe in co-facilitation, and we strive to keep collective work centered in our organization. We invest in leadership of BIPOC and womxn. We compensate our neighbors for their expertise. We put money back into the community we work with. We cultivate community by striving to create safe and joyful spaces that allow for open communication outside of the limits of white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal hierarchies. Wepa!
PST’s resident artists work together with the agreement to actively listen without assumption or prejudice. We are dedicated to holding ourselves accountable- we normalize receiving critique and feedback within ourselves, the artists we work with, and the community we want to continue growing with. We are not afraid to be vulnerable and share the ups and downs of our growth.
We are committed to centering the intersectionalities of our identities. We prioritize sharing and supporting the narratives and leadership of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, womxn, immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ+, and disAbled communities. We are always interested in continuing to expand our table and reach more communities. We know that preserving and uplifting cross-cultural experiences is vital to our multicultural society.
In order to be the best versions of ourselves as leaders and collaborators, we prioritize well-being. Part of prioritizing wellness is making sure we have systems in place that support us- we pay our workers fair wages; we have grievance policies in place; we have sustainable workloads. Prioritizing mental and physical wellness is a domino effect; when we take care of ourselves, we can take care of our homes, our communities, and our environment. For us, wellness also means centering rest, recuperation, pleasure, and joy, as well as accepting when you are not well, being vulnerable, and asking for support. Centering wellness is paramount to a sustainable and healthy life.
Nurturing our community through the arts creates a healthier, empathetic, and more well-rounded society. We bring radical joy to the world of theatre in non-traditional spaces and invite our neighbors to use their freedom of expression by taking up space; with our bodies, our language, our cultures, and our HERstories. By telling and preserving our stories as innovators, leaders, artists, designers, survivors, and historians we assert that we belong, we exist, and we’ve always been here.The impact of the work we do is consciousness-shifting: an understanding that WE have the power and theatre belongs to all of us.
“I believe that all organizing is science fiction - that we are shaping the future we long for and have not yet experienced.”
― Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
"Our vision is a direct call to action to build a table among POC leaders to innovate, collaborate and strategize on the future of theater in Philadelphia."
"Power Street Theatre is a place for me to fulfill my dream of writing, developing my voice, and working on important new plays.”
"I believe our immigrant stories celebrate courage and have the power to change communities for the better."
"I’m apart of Power Street because they make me feel like family, and I knew PST was a powerful force
to learn from."
"I am a member of Power Street Theatre because the company is fearless and willing to embrace the realities of today."
"If you believe in the power to shape, educate, and reconstruct humanity through art, then Power Street is your masterpiece."