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Our Team

Mino Lora


Co-Founder, Executive Director
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Mino has been living and working as an artist, educator, activist and arts administrator in NYC since 2000. People’s Theatre Project is a true passion project for Mino and she takes a very hands-on approach to the work. Each of the programs the organization has developed began with her in the role of teaching artist. NBC Latino recognized Mino as one of 10 Latinos with Heart and she has been profiled by FoxNews Latino, NBC Latino, El Diario, Manhattan Times, Listin Diario, El Nacional and other newspaper and magazine publications in the US and abroad. Mino has participated as a panelist and guest speaker throughout New York City and was the international orator for the Women of Success 2014 conference in Santo Domingo, DR. Mino received her BA in English Literature and Theatre from Manhattanville College and her MA in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation from the Graduate Institute.
bob braswell


Co-Founder, Managing Director
Bob co-founded People’s Theatre Project and is primarily responsible for its finances, development and marketing. Under his auspices, the organization has grown from an idea on a napkin to a thriving organization serving over 1,250 people at dozens of sites across NYC each year. Braswell began his career in the arts as an actor and approaches administration as an ongoing creative project. Bob has worked off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, The Mint Theater and The Actor's Company Theatre (TACT), and regionally at Cincinnati Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Denver Center Theatre Company, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Huntington Theatre Company, Fulton Opera House and McCarter Theatre Center. Bob co-starred in the feature film “God Don’t Make the Laws” with Paul Sorvino and appeared on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”. Bob had the pleasure of traveling the country with the Addiction Performance Project working with some well-known actors including Dianne Wiest and Debra Winger. Bob studied Nonprofit Management at CUNY and theatre at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and received a BFA from Boston University’s School of Theatre.
zafi dimitropoulou


Artistic Director
Zafiria Dimitropoulou Delangel is a GreekMexican performer and Director. Born in Mexico in 1989, her parents decided to move to Greece when she was two years old, she started taking ballet classes and since then she never quit dancing. She has studied Political Sciences and Public Administration at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Acting at the Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun. During her third year of studies, she did an internship at the Troubleyn/Jan Fabre company for the reenactment of two historical shows of the company in Antwerp,Belgium. Moving back to Greece, she has been part of many productions and has worked with several directors and ensembles. From 2009 she worked as the Site Director and Program Facilitator at the Department of Education in Athens, facilitating a pilot program of Theater in Public Schools all over the city. In 2013, the audience of voted for her as the best female actress of the year for her part in the theater play ''Pitsibourgo'' in the Argo theater, directed by Babis Klaliotis. In 2017, she graduated from the M.F.A program in Physical Theatre, at Dell'Arte International in Blue Lake, California where she got accepted with a scholarship for her research in physical theater and new forms of community theater making.
AHayashi headshot


Development Manager
Aya Esther Hayashi joined the PTP team in February 2019 as Development Manager. She previously served as Development Associate at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and Assistant Director/Choreographer for the Children and Teen Theatre Programs at the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance on Roosevelt Island. Raised in Richmond, VA, she moved to NYC in 2009 after completing her degree in Flute Performance at the University of North Carolina (Go Heels!). She holds a PhD in Musicology from The Graduate Center, CUNY, and produces and performs musical theatre with company, Okaeri Productions.
abe johnson


Education Specialist

Abe Johnson is a performer, director, and educator. Growing up in Mississippi, Abe sought out all of the performing opportunities provided him, eventually becoming involved with New Stage Regional Theatre. From there, he moved to Cleveland, Tennessee for college where he traveled for four years with the Lee University Singers. Upon completing his B.S. in Music Business/Vocal Emphasis from Lee University, Abe found his way into the educational world as a choir director. Before arriving in New York, he was music department chair for a performing arts school in Florida, where he oversaw piano, orchestra, guitar, band, and taught chorus. Although his course of study was framed in music, it’s application continuously drove him back to theatre. While living in Florida, he became heavily involved in the Manatee Performing Arts Center, first as a performer, followed by three years as a professional stage manager. It was during this time that he decided to return to school to enhance his ability as a theatre educator.

Abe is currently finishing his M.A. at NYU Steinhardt in Educational Theatre in Colleges and Communities. Upon completion, Abe will graduate with a master’s thesis, Let’s Talk About Sex: Exploring Sex Education through Theatre, and curriculum entitled Let’s Talk About Identity: Self-Assessment to Self- Determination. He is passionate about the merging of social justice, theatre and education as a means of self-assessment and self-determination for marginalized youth. Most recently Abe was the Assistant Director and Music Director for National Queer Theater’s production Speechless, a devised documentary theatre play based on the collection of stories from people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. Prior to that he was the Music Director for DREAMers, a play that explores freedom, oppression, and identity as undocumented youth respond to the announcement of President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It was developed with The Civilians Education Department in partnership with Make The Road New York, and was written and directed by Adam Odsess-Rubin. Abe also serves on the Board of Advisors for Project and Connect, a unique HIV and AIDS story preservation project and education initiative, which uses storytelling as a critical social practice to reduce stigma. He will be leading the Cities of Refuge Initiative through Project and Connect, writing curriculum that will be given to churches as a support system for those living with HIV and AIDS. He is also a supporting Artist for CO/LAB (Creative Opportunities without Limits and Boundaries) Theatre Group, which provides creative and social outlets for actors with developmental disabilities.



Program Manager

Ambar Colón Fargas was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts in 2017 from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Following her graduation, Ambar moved to New York. Since then, she has worked with Teatro SEA and has recently continued her professional development completing their Technical Training Program. Ambar is passionate about social causes and civic engagement, and she is overjoyed to be with the People’s Theatre Project as the Program Manager.


Youth Advocate

Esdras Santana is a proud resident of Washington Heights for 39 years now. She is the mother of two teenagers and served as PTA president for six years during their elementary/middle school attendance in the neighborhood. Esdras graduated from the Ward Acting Studio in 2007, is trained as a joker with Theatre of the Oppressed, and has studied Williamson Physical Technique at the Actors Movement Conservatory. She is currently participating in her 5th Uptown Action production and is a founding member of the Uptown Action Leadership Team. Esdras has been a labor/postpartum doula and childbirth educator since 2001. She enjoys working closely with new and expectant parents and is committed to supporting them through the birth and parenting process.



Communications Associate
Ben Johnson


Teaching Artist
Ben Johnson has performed as a professional actor, improviser, and physical comedian in over ninety cities across the United States and in ten countries around the world.He has appeared in Waiting for Godot at Marin Theater Company, The 39 Steps and The Underpants at Center REP, Scapin at A.C.T., and as an improviser with The Magnet Theater, The PIT, Improv Playhouse of San Francisco, True Fiction Magazine, Awkward Dinner Party, and BATS Improv. His other credits include The Elephant Man, Mother Courage, La Bete, The Beard of Avon and Red Noses at the Gamm Theatre in Rhode Island; A Midsummer Saturday Night’s Fever Dream and All’s Kool That Ends Kool at the Troubadour Theater Company in Los Angeles; and an original solo performance called Trunk Show.
He is also a circus performer who has been a featured clown on Cirque du Soleil’s world tour of Alegría, a ringmaster with the Zoppe Family Circus, and a clown with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
His film and TV credits include TBS’s The Detour, the children’s video project Flummox and Friends, and the independent films All the Others Were Practice, Betrayed, Messenge, Reversal of Fortune, The Brides of Frankenstein, The 14th Floor, and Inhouse: Sketching Reality.
Ben has over fifteen years of experience working as an educator and trainer in a variety of contexts. He has designed and facilitated workshops for business professionals, and professional development for schools, districts, and other educational organizations. He has also worked as a substitute teacher, an instructional aide in special education classrooms, a one-on-one aide for a student with muscular dystrophy, a circus coach across the country for students fighting cancer, and a teaching artist in public schools and community centers in Rhode Island, California, and New York.
Ben recently relocated to New York City from Oakland, CA with his wife and their two daughters. He has a BA in History from UCLA, and an MA in Teaching from Brown University. Check out for more information!
Germainne LeBron


Teaching Artist
Germainne LeBron is a South Bronx born Actor and City College of New York alumni. He has pursued theatre through his post collegiate years. Some of his credits include (Jon Maran) A Strange and Separate People, (Oscar Wilde) The Importance of Being Earnest and Classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Othello and A Midsummer Nights Dream. Germainne joined The Peoples Theatre Project as an Apprentice Teaching Artist in 2014 Harbor Heights. He then joined the CUNY Creative Arts Team as an Actor Teacher creating and devising anti bullying and abuse workshops for middle to high school students all over NYC. Germainne is beyond thrilled to be invited back to PTP as a Teaching Artist.
Cofounder Donya R. Love, TEOP. Editorial photography for A&U Magazine.


Teaching Artist
Donja R. Love is an Afro-Queer playwright, poet, and filmmaker. He's the 2017 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow, a Eugene O’ Neill 2017 National Playwrights Conference finalist, The Lark's 2016 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow, The Playwrights Realm’s 2016-2017 Writing Fellow, the 2016 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Award recipient, and the 2011 Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. His work has been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Rising Circle Theatre, The Lark, and The Playwrights Realm. He’s the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ People of Color. Select stage-plays include: The Love* Plays (Sugar in Our Wounds, which has a 2018 World Premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club; Fireflies; In The Middle), and soft. Select film work: Modern Day Black Gay (web series), and Once A Star (short film). Training: Juilliard, Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program.


Teaching Artist
Kat Peña has played roles from Anton Chekhov to singing Stephen Schwartz's music on stage. Her recent credits include Lyuba Ranevsky in The Cherry Orchard, Charlie in H.O.M.E. , Witch 1 in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Abri in the short film Abri's Story, and a few other short films. As a graduate of The City College of New York, she has costume designed a handful of shows. She is currently working on multiple projects, producing a Shakespeare miniseries, and is excited to be teaching social justice theater with the People's Theatre Project partnering with NYC Public High Schools. She continues to work alongside artists from her alma mater who share her desire to motivate and inspire audiences as well as creating original content that matters.


Teaching Artist
Channie Waites is a performing artist, director, facilitator, educator and program consultant. She has worked and collaborated with youth, senior citizens and social justice leadership programs in the United States, Rwanda and South Africa. She has toured and performed professionally within the United States and abroad. She is currently performing a one-person adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk, produced my Young Audiences New York and Harlem Stage. Channie has received several honors and acknowledgements for her audiobook narrations including most recently, This Is The Rope. Channie has been co-program director for The International Theater and Literacy Project (ITLP) –Rwanda for the last four years. In Rwanda she has co-directed I Am! My Power!, Release and Pressure!, Love Is…, What Hate Does and Making Peace In Old Village, original plays devised by youth at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village and the Rwinkwavu Community Learning Center in Rwanda. Channie has worked for the August Wilson Monologue Competition, People’s Theatre Project, WNYC, and The Phyllis Rose Dance Company. She is an actor and program consultant with Only Make Believe, a not for profit organization that brings interactive theatre to children in hospital and health facilities. She was also co-founder of Capacity Arts, a theatre collective that created highly interactive historical dramas and developed tailored leadership workshops to lift up untold stories, build empathy across dividing lines, and deepen participants’ analysis of historical and present day conditions. Channie has a M.A. in Applied Theatre from the School of Professional Studies-CUNY and has a B.A. in Theatre from Penn State University.


Teaching Artist
Marion Lopez is a native New York theater artist, director and educator. She has been performing and creating for over a decade. She was nominated for Best Actress in a feature film at the LIIFE film expo. Marion is also a founding member of Sinteatro-Intimus, a theatre company with a focus on creating original work inspired by the socio-political landscape of various South American communities. She has performed at a variety of notable theaters and festivals such as La MaMa ETC, the International Hispanic Theater Festival of Miami and Theater for the New City. As a teaching artist, she also works with the Creative Arts Team and Opening Act. In the past, she has taught and facilitated for young people involved in the foster care system, detainees at Rikers Island, and teenagers from all five boroughs of NYC.  She holds a BA from Hunter College in Theatre and a MA in Applied Theater from The CUNY School of Professional Studies. She is over the the moon to be joining the People’s Theatre Project family!
Sindy I Castro


Teaching Artist
Sindy Isabel Castro is an actress, educator, and theatre artist. She is currently an MA in Applied Theatre candidate at CUNY's Schools of Professional Studies and an actor teacher apprentice with the Creative Arts Team in NYC. She was previously a teaching artist/education administrator in Chicago for seven years and worked with Steppenwolf Theatre, Writers Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Adventure Stage Chicago, and Project AIM.


People’s Theatre Project is a member of ArtsPool, a cooperative which provides workforce administration, financial management, and compliance services to a growing roster of nonprofit arts organizations in New York City.

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