June 6 • New World Stages
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The People's Gala is the highly anticipated 5th annual event in support of People's Theatre Project’s mission. This year’s event will honor three exceptional immigrants, Shaun Smith, Zafi Dimitropoulou Del Angel, and Emilio Sosa, for their outstanding contributions to social justice, the arts, and community building.

Guests of the gala can expect an evening filled with glamour, inspiration, and entertainment, featuring a red carpet reception, an impactful benefit performance, and a festive cocktail party. VIP ticket holders are invited to a pre-event cocktail reception at 6pm for a sneak peek at the future of People's Theatre Project and a toast with our honorees. At 7pm, all guests will enjoy a benefit performance co-directed by Mino Lora and Vida Tayebati, and starring the cast of PTP's The Diamond and students of the PTP Academy. Following the performance, guests will adjourn to a festive reception with open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, music, and dancing.

Purchase Tickets Below

Event Date & Time

Tuesday, June 6, 2023
VIP Cocktail Event at 6:00 P.M.
Benefit Performance at 7:00 P.M.
Main Reception at 7:30 P.M.

We're Counting Down!


New World Stages
340 W. 50th Street
(between 8th & 9th Aves)


Shaun Smith
Group Senior Vice President, Chief People and Culture Officer
Shaun E. Smith, JD is the Group Senior Vice President & Chief People and Culture Officer for NewYork-Presbyterian. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s people strategy and leadership of human resources operations, including talent acquisition, training and organizational development, total rewards, employee and labor relations, workforce health and safety, and diversity & inclusion. Mr. Smith joined NewYork-Presbyterian in 2012 as Vice President of Human Resources, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. As NewYork-Presbyterian evolved, he took on the responsibility of providing strategic direction and oversight of human resources across NewYork-Presbyterian for NYP’s 47,000 employees who provide care at 10 hospital campuses and more than 200 primary and specialty care clinics in New York City and the surrounding communities.

Mr. Smith has over 25 years of human resources, legal, and health care management experience, including leadership roles at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, New York, where he served as the Chief Human Resource Officer. Mr. Smith received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and his law degree from Pace University. He was an adjunct professor of Human Resources Management at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh and currently serves as the Associate Dean for the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences. Mr. Smith is a member of the Executive Leadership Council. He is a member of the Boards of Trustees of Pace University, The Center of Community Alternatives, and The Rogosin Institute.
Mr. Smith has also served on other health care industry boards, including his past role as Chair of START Treatment and Recovery Centers in New York City.

Mr. Smith’s approach to HR leadership is grounded in the firm belief that people are at the core of what makes an organization great. A truly great organization is created by highly engaged people who actively participate in a culture focused on respect and caring for one another and their community.

Zafi Dimitropoulou Del Angel
Artistic Director (2018-2023)
People's Theatre Project
Zafi Dimitropoulou Del Angel is a Mexican Greek director, performer, and educator. She served as the Artistic Director of People’s Theatre Project in NYC from 2018 to 2023.

Born in Mexico and raised in Greece, Zafi studied dance and performing arts from her early years. As an educator, she has facilitated theatre-making workshops and classes in public schools across the world. As a performer, she has been a member of many ensembles in Europe and the United States, including the Troubleyn theatre company and the Athens Epidaurus festival. As a director, Zafi specializes in creating methodologies that center underrepresented artists and develop original work through an anti-oppressive lens.

Her latest works—Las Mariposas, Somos Más, and Doña Mañana—have been performed in venues and theatre stages across NYC including The Riverside Theatre, The Whitney, and New York Theatre Workshop. In 2020, she was selected for the New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) Emerging Leaders Program Cohort. BA Acting, Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun; MFA, Physical Theatre, Dell’Arte International.

Emilio Sosa
Tony-Nominated Costume Designer &
American Theatre Wing, Chair
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Bronx, Emilio is one of Broadway’s most distinguished and sought after talents. As a two-time TONY & Drama Desk Award nominated Costume Designer, he began his theatrical career as a shopper with Grace Costumes. He would eventually become its Creative Director and credits this time as the foundation for his career; inspired by the community of artists who worked tirelessly to bring their respective creative visions to life. Since this formative period, Emilio has toured the world with Celine Dion, The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. He’s made a name for himself styling music videos for some of Hip Hop’s leading pioneers including: Salt & Pepa, MC Lyte and Kid & Play. Additionally, he’s designed for legendary icons Diana Ross, Mariah Carey and Gloria Estefan. Catching the eye of renowned director Spike Lee, Emilio became the in-house stylist for his production company, Forty Acres and a Mule, working on national and international advertisement campaigns. He soon set his sight on Broadway under the mentorship of prolific director & playwright George C. Wolfe for whom he designed his first show, TOPDOG / UNDERDOG. His other Broadway credits include: ON YOUR FEET! The Emilio and Gloria Estefan Story, MOTOWN: The Musical, PORGY and BESS (TONY Award nomination), LADY DAY at EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL, TROUBLE IN MIND (TONY Award nomination), 1776, AIN’T NO MO’, A BEAUTIFUL NOISE and SWEENEY TODD. He holds the unique distinction of being the first person of color to design for THE RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS & SPRING SPECTACULAR starring The Rockettes. Emilio’s talent was also evident on season seven of Project Runway and Project Runway All-Stars where he showcased his final collection with a complete cast featuring models of color, a first for the popular franchise. His work on the small screen was featured in NBC’s “Annie Live!” and most recently in Descendants: Rise of Red for Disney+. He is the proud recipient of a Lucille Lortel Award, NAACP Theater Award, and LA Ovation Award. As current Chair of The American Theatre Wing, Emilio continues to share his vast knowledge for theater with communities rarely represented by sponsoring theater trips, workshops and talk backs. “I believe live theater has the unique ability to build bridges amongst different people allowing a greater understanding of the world we live in.” @esosafashion

Host Committee

Eleazar Bueno
Mariana Elder
Monica Hidalgo
Jane Seidenberg

Board of Directors

Sarina Prabasi, President
Kevin Thurman, Vice-President
Hiram Miguel Arnaud, Treasurer
Deborah Katznelson, Secretary
Cindy Caplan
Monica Hidalgo
Zahira Perez
Melanie Wuong

Artistic Council

Ioana Alfonso
Dominic Colón
Guadalís Del Carmen
Shadi Ghaheri
Yuko Kudo
Donja R. Love
Jacob Padrón
Reza Salazar
Candace Thompson-Zachery
Stephanie Ybarra

Purchase Tickets & Make Donations

For sponsorship information or to pay by check, please contact [email protected]

Proceeds from The People's Gala will benefit the artistic and education programs of People's Theatre Project, a 501(c)3 organization (EIN 26-4705999). Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

About People's Theatre Project

Rooted in Washington Heights and Inwood, People’s Theatre Project (PTP) makes theatre with and for immigrant communities to build a more just and equitable world.

Now in its 14th anniversary season, People’s Theatre Project is Manhattan’s largest performing arts organization north of Harlem and a joyful advocate for social justice. Ensemble-based, physical, inclusive, multilingual, multigenerational, and 100% original, PTP’s unique brand of theatre is a powerful artistic platform for immigrants and members of the Latine, Black, and Queer communities. Through its groundbreaking work, PTP’s artists and audiences deepen their sense of power, strengthen their connection to community, and amplify the call for radical change.


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