Erlina Ortiz

Erlina Ortiz

Erlina Ortiz is a Dominican-American playwright, performer, and theatre maker from Reading, PA. Her heartfelt and timely plays ranging from topics of gentrification, domestic violence, 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 Spring 2019 her...
Erlina Ortiz is a Dominican-American playwright, performer, and theatre maker from Reading, PA. Her heartfelt and timely plays ranging from topics of gentrification, domestic violence, 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 Spring 2019 her play Morir Sonyando was nominated for six Philadelphia Barrymore Awards including Outstanding New Play. Erlina has received the Amtrak Writer’s residency, the Signal Fire Outpost Residency, and in 2019 she gave the Keynote Address at the Delaware Writer’s Conference on the importance of nurturing your artistic community. Erlina was a member of NEXUS with New York Stage and Film in 2020/2021 and is a two time 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. In 2021 she was nominated as Secretary of the Board for Theatre Philadelphia. Erlina believes being an artist is a superpower, she believes in using her powers for good.

Plays

  • Las Mujeres
    Las Mujeres, is a journey through time as we meet the famous Latinas of herstory's past. Marlene, a workaholic engineer who wouldn’t call herself a feminist, has just been the only woman at her firm promoted to a managerial position. After a devastating encounter, Marlene finds reality has faded away and her kitchen becomes... a party. The guests? Frida Kahlo, Rita Hayworth, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and...
    Las Mujeres, is a journey through time as we meet the famous Latinas of herstory's past. Marlene, a workaholic engineer who wouldn’t call herself a feminist, has just been the only woman at her firm promoted to a managerial position. After a devastating encounter, Marlene finds reality has faded away and her kitchen becomes... a party. The guests? Frida Kahlo, Rita Hayworth, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and Minerva Mirabal. Don’t know them? You will. These remarkable women share their stories of art, and Revolucion! with the comfortable and complacent Marlene, but will she wake up?

    2018 Surya Awards
    Bonaly Recognition for Creation of Community Joy
    Bonaly Recognition for Excellent Costume Design

  • Morir Sonyando
    Morir Sonyando by Erlina Ortiz, is a play about family and the grace we must choose to bestow on one another every day to keep alive.
    “The first hit tears your skin and makes you bleed. It feels like the world has turned to spinning stars. But after that, you don’t feel much more.”
    Genesis, an academic working her way through an Ivy League education, is proud of the fact that she’s survived her...
    Morir Sonyando by Erlina Ortiz, is a play about family and the grace we must choose to bestow on one another every day to keep alive.
    “The first hit tears your skin and makes you bleed. It feels like the world has turned to spinning stars. But after that, you don’t feel much more.”
    Genesis, an academic working her way through an Ivy League education, is proud of the fact that she’s survived her family’s dysfunction, if only just barely. But when her estranged mother, Paloma, is released from prison after a decade of incarceration, Genesis is forced to confront her involvement in the imprisonment and the life from which she has done her best to escape.

    Listen to a recording of Morir Sonyando at the Parsnip Ship podcast here or wherever you listen to podcast!
    https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-the-parsnip-ship-43091052/episode/morir-sonyando-by-erlina-ortiz-58583736/

    A Family Must Confront Domestic Violence in “Morir Sonyando”; Passage Theatre Offers Compelling Production of Raw, Nuanced Drama
    http://www.towntopics.com/wordpress/2019/05/08/a-family-must-confront-domestic-violence-in-morir-sonyando-passage-theatre-offers-compelling-production-of-raw-nuanced-drama/

    “Morir Sonyando” looks at family cycles of abuse
    https://outinjersey.net/morir-sonyando-looks-at-family-cycles-of-abuse/
  • Honey Bee Baby
    Melisa is a kind-hearted follower of rules. She desperately wants a child, if only she could pass the government mandated test that will allow her to do it. Young Clarisa knows nothing except the perfectly curated life her parents have carved for her in their fortified underground mansion. She too has a test to pass, if only she could focus, follow, listen; the way Mother wants her to. In Erlina Ortiz’s magical...
    Melisa is a kind-hearted follower of rules. She desperately wants a child, if only she could pass the government mandated test that will allow her to do it. Young Clarisa knows nothing except the perfectly curated life her parents have carved for her in their fortified underground mansion. She too has a test to pass, if only she could focus, follow, listen; the way Mother wants her to. In Erlina Ortiz’s magical Honey Bee Baby, the bees are gone, the resources are scarce, and every one must earn their place in this world where the lines between right and wrong are blurred with blood
  • She Wore Those Shoes
    Inspired by the documentary "The Invisible War", Erlina Ortiz’s "She Wore Those Shoes" explores the prevailing issue of sexual assault within the United States military and the silence, stigma, and negligence that survivors often face.
    Protagonist, Yudy, a strong and confident young Latina woman, excitedly joins the armed forces in pursuit of the military pride and prowess that her...
    Inspired by the documentary "The Invisible War", Erlina Ortiz’s "She Wore Those Shoes" explores the prevailing issue of sexual assault within the United States military and the silence, stigma, and negligence that survivors often face.
    Protagonist, Yudy, a strong and confident young Latina woman, excitedly joins the armed forces in pursuit of the military pride and prowess that her respected older brother Abraham represents. Yudy’s high regard for her military “family,” however is deeply tarnished in the aftermath of trauma, as silence, disbelief, and betrayal ensue. Through memory, cadences, creative movement and unexpected humor, we follow Yudy’s journey as she navigates being a woman of color and veteran as well as something more than a victim of our pervasive rape culture.
  • MinorityLand
    “It quickly became clear that I was dumb to judge this play before I'd seen it, and I that had in fact judged it wrong. Minorityland was really good, and I strongly recommend catching it before it closes.” – Philadelphia CityPaper
    MinorityLand tackles what it means to be a minority, what it means to be a community, and just how deeply our words and actions can effect those around us.
    When...
    “It quickly became clear that I was dumb to judge this play before I'd seen it, and I that had in fact judged it wrong. Minorityland was really good, and I strongly recommend catching it before it closes.” – Philadelphia CityPaper
    MinorityLand tackles what it means to be a minority, what it means to be a community, and just how deeply our words and actions can effect those around us.
    When the local university begins buying up houses in an integrated black and latino community, residents are pushed out, and the very fabric of the community is ripped apart. ​
    "Its not about right or wrong, it's about who has the power." -MinorityLand
  • La Egoista
    La Egoista, commissioned by Live and In Color!, explores the story of sisters Josefina and Betsaida. Josefina is a rising stand up comic who is coming to terms with the recent death of her mother and her sister's sudden chronic illness diagnosis. Surrealistic in nature, the one act play follows Josefina through her sets and scenes as they unfold in conjunction with the deterioration of her sister's health.
  • Young Money
    Tomasina AKA Kila - T is Hip-hop's newest chart topper. Elegant and prideful Gardenia has been laid off from her job of 20 years and now she cleans Kila’s dressing room. When an attack on Kila’s concert forces the two women together, questions of morality, success, and redemption are danced around as these women discover they may have more to learn from each other than they think.