She offers an artistic vision that is simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful, funny and ferocious--allowing audiences to see the world with greater compassion and understanding than perhaps they ever have before. - Quinn D. Eli - playwright, educator and mentor
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.
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 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. In 2021 she began serving as secretary of the board for Theatre Philadelphia. She has taught playwriting with the University of the Arts, Power Street Theatre, and Blue Stoop phl.
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 went on to win the 2021 National Latine Playwrights Award. In 2022 her new musical Siluetas co-created with Robi Hager was developed at the O’Neill National Musical Theatre Conference.
Erlina believes being an artist is a superpower, she believes in using her powers for good.