Meet PST's Admin-Artists:
"The Power Streeters"
Gabriela 'Gabi' Sanchez (she/her/ella)
Co-Artistic Director &
For over a decade, she has worked with multiple influential arts and culture organizations in the city including Conflict Resolution Theatre, Taller Puertorriqueño, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, and dozens more. Gabriela has been awarded for her long-term commitment to art for social change work. Gabriela oversees projects and programs and is directly involved in PST’s strategic planning.
Gabriela Serena Sanchez, is a cultural producer and multidisciplinary mother artist- a director, actor, photographer, video editor, teaching artist, poet – who blends creative practice with deeply embedded social justice action. A Philadelphia native, Sanchez graduated from the Creative and Performing Arts Highschool and received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Temple University. Gabriela is known for effectively building coalitions in a diverse range of communities throughout the city and furthering a vision of an arts sector deeply rooted in equity and justice.
As of 2023 Gabriela became the new executive director of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. She will provide leadership and vision in the fulfillment of PCF’s mission to support and enhance the cultural vitality of Philadelphia and all its residents by promoting arts and culture as engines of social cohesion, economic development, and health and well-being.
Gabriela is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Power Street Theatre, a women of color- led multicultural theater collective presenting powerful new plays, theater education and community story circles in the heart of el barrio as well as other Philadelphia neighborhoods. For over a decade, she has worked with multiple influential arts and culture organizations in the city including Conflict Resolution Theatre, Taller Puertorriqueño, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, and dozens more!
Gabriela was awarded the Leeway 2022 Transformation Award for her long-term commitment to social change work. In Spring 2021, Gabriela was an honoree for the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty. 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 Conference, in addition, to the plenary speaker for the 2019 Theatre Communications Group National Conference.
Co-Artistic Director, General Manager &
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.
Website and Newsletter Editor
Marketing Director & Cultural Curator
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.