Catherine Castillo Cruz

New York Program Manager

Catherine Castillo Cruz was born and raised in New York. She has been a storyteller all her life thanks to her parents who always encouraged her to play with cardboard boxes. She grew up doing theatre in her local church, school, and her friend’s backyard. Catherine earned her BA in Theatre Education from Ball State University and her Masters of Arts in Applied Theatre from the CUNY School of Professional Studies.

Catherine worked as a teaching artist developing and facilitating her own curriculum for over ten years in a variety of settings such as after-school programs, summer camps, homeless shelters and museums. She has taught for various agencies such as Roundhouse Theatre, Educational Alliance, the Creative Arts Team, New York City Children’s Theatre and Greenwich Music School. Catherine specializes in devising and facilitating interactive dramas around issues that directly affect communities and directing original theatre with youth.

As the Education Specialist at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education in the Bronx, Catherine wrote Literacy and STEM curriculum, trained a staff of over forty teachers and organized special events. During her time there, she was instrumental in working to increase the program’s performance and earn an “above standard” rating from the Department of Youth and Community Development.

Before joining Girls Leadership, Catherine was the Manager of Tour and Academy Programs at George Street Playhouse where she developed arts integration curriculum, spearheaded outreach to families and schools and implemented professional development for teachers. She also directed Project IMT,  a student-led original play that centered the voices and experiences of undocumented communities.

Catherine serves as an Alumni Ambassador for Ball State University with the mission of making college admissions more accessible to BIPOC students. In her spare time she enjoys reading fantasy novels, baking and writing poetry.