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Our Team

Mino Lora

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.
Sindy Castro (15)

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.
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ZAFIRIA 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 all4fun.gr 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.
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AYA HAYASHI

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.
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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.

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AMBAR COLON FARGAS

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.

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ESDRAS SANTANA

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.

emmanuel-abreu

EMMANUEL ABREU

Communications Associate
Reyna Bonaparte

REYNA BONAPARTE

Teaching Artist
Reyna Erika Bonaparte is a teaching artist, educator, community organizer, facilitator and poet from Harlem, NYC. She earned her Bachelor’s of Art from Bard College and received her master’s in Applied Theatre from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies. Reyna has been involved in the arts for over 20 years and spent most of that time working at the Harlem Children Zone, where she ran multiple writing, media and arts programing for students across the agency’s many middle school and high school sites. Reyna is passionate about theatre for social change and activism and sees her work at PTP as crucial in her quest to help others find their voice and fight oppression everywhere.
Sindy Castro

SINDY ISABEL CASTRO

Teaching Artist Coach
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.  www.sindyicastro.com
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JESSICA CERMAK

Teaching Artist
Jessica holds a BFA in theatre from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. When she moved to NYC she continued studying theatre at Circle in the Square's theatre conservatory. This gave her the opportunity to work with Daniel Sklar on play building with students at PS 11. From that moment on she was passionately devoted to creating theatre with young people. She graduated from SPS CUNY with an MA in Applied Theatre and went on to work as a teaching artist with several companies, including the Creative Arts Team where she facilitates storytelling professional developments for teachers and works with early learners. She continues to perform, as well as devise, direct, and produce at WOW Cafe Theatre, a women and transgender theatre collective in the East Village.
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JEESUN CHOI

Teaching Artist
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MARIA JOSE FAJARDO

Teaching Artist
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URSULA HELLBERG KAID

Teaching Artist & PTP Company Member
Ursula is a Chilean actress currently living in New York. She presents training in Dance and Movement with renowned practitioners. As an actress and educator, she has combined her trades in theatre ensembles, schools and universities, artistic projects, and community centers. She highlights Teatro Errante, Teatro Fresa Salvaje, Núcleo Cordillera, and her artistic, pedagogic and community project La Última Escena as her most influential experiences. Her play “Desangrar la herida (tragedia bilingüe)” was chosen as emergent playwright in the 2017 Santiago OFF Theater Festival and her narrative “Scaffolding the Streets” was selected in the 2018 NYU Educational Theatre Forum: Performance as Activism. She was a Spanish Coach in the NYU Speaking Freely program and currently works as a Teaching Artist for People’s Theatre Project. BA in Theatrical Acting, Universidad de Chile; MA in Educational Theatre, New York University.
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ANJU HYPPOLITE

Teaching Artist
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JIAWEN HU

Teaching Artist & PTP Company Member
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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 benbjohnson.com for more information!
Cofounder Donya R. Love, TEOP. Editorial photography for A&U Magazine.

DONJA R. LOVE

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.
Sindy Castro (7)

CHUK OBASI

Teaching Artist & PTP Company Member
Chuk Obasi (Performer) is a Nigerian-American actor, writer, director and choreographer. In addition to his work with the Sol Ensemble, Obasi is a company member with The Private Theatre, Movement Director at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre at Drew University, artist with TEA Creative, and Choreographer for STAR Theatre (Serving Teens through Arts and Research) at the Director’s Company. He has recently worked with Intersections International (Artist in Residence), the National Dance Institute (Teaching Artist), and Village Playback Theatre (Performer). Obasi was a recent recipient of the 2019 Zelda Fichandler Award, a full scholarship to study with the Michael Chekhov Association at their annual international intensive training in New London, CT. He is thrilled and honored to now join the Ensemble! BA in Communication and double minor in Musical Theatre and Dance, SUNY Geneseo. Twitter: @ChukObasi
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ZULEINETTE RALAT

Teaching Artist
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ANGIE REGINA

Teaching Artist & PTP Company Member
Angie Regina (Performer) graduated from Escuela Nacional de Arte Dramático (ENAD), Dominican Republic. Director and Co-founder of an independent theater company Otroteatrony. In NYC she studied acting for film and TV with Paul Lemos (Meisner technique), musical theatre (R.evolución Latina) and voiceover workshops couched by Manuel Herrera. Has worked in films and commercial as well as telenovelas (Telemundo). She has participated in the 5th meeting of Choreographer of the Caribbean (2009) and several international theatre festivals in Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Colombia and the first puppet fringe festival in the US. Currently actress at Repertorio Español, Teatro SEA (The Society of the Educational Arts), and the PTP Company. She Is an ATI and Hola Award winner for best actress and the ACE 2019 award for Best Director. Angie teaches in NYC public schools as a teaching artist. MA in Educational Theater, City College of New York.
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MAX SINGER

Teaching Artist
Max Singer is a professional actor and teaching artist with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California San Diego. Prior to graduate school, he completed several actor training programs at Brown University, SUNY New Paltz, and the Stella Adler Studios in both New York City and Los Angeles. His teaching experience is diverse, and ranges from spending eight years working with children with mental disabilities and communication disorders, designing and performing education programs and tours for all ages at a historic site, teaching undergraduate courses in Acting, Public Speaking, and Dialects at UC San Diego, and bringing theatre education to migrant communities in New York City.
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VIDA TAYEBATI

Teaching Artist & PTP Company Member
Vida Tayebati (Performer) Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Vida Tayebati is an actor, director, and teacher. She aims to mobilize discussion and action through live theatre that transcends national borders and exposes social wrongs. She co-founded international female troupe Til Lalezar Theatre in 2016. Vida received the Hope Fellowship and Kennedy Center Honors Scholarship in 2013and Carlo Mazzone Scholarship in 2014–2015 for studying theatre. Her most recent projects include Tosca Tehran at Atlantic Theatre, NYTW residency at Adelphi University, title:point festival at the Brick Theatre, Bee at HB Studio, and Red Wednesday at Mabou Mines.She is humbled to be part of the Sol Ensemble and share Somos Más” with you all. MFA in Ensemble Physical Theatre, Dell’Arte International; BS in Data Science (in progress), Columbia University.
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ANIA UPSTILL

Teaching Artist
Ania Upstill (they/them) is a physical theater maker and educator. They are a recent transplant to New York, having graduated in June 2018 from the Professional Training Program at Dell'Arte School of Physical Theater. Since arriving in New York Ania has performed an original queer clown show, Piesexual, at The Tank's Pridefest, at various cabaret and showcases for new work (including Undiscovered Countries' November 2018 showcase) and in Hypokrit theater's R+J: A Reimagination of Romeo + Juliet. Before attending Dell'Arte Ania spent six years in New Zealand working as a director, performer and producer. Ania is passionate about queer representation and centers their theatrical practice around queer characters and stories.
ARTPOOL

ARTS POOL

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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