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Hellenic Art Theatre History

Our Roots:
Hellenic Art Theatre (HAT) is a continuation of Greek Australian Theatre tradition that started with the late, Chrysostomos Mantouridis, a Greek Cypriot who migrated to Australia from Egypt in 1949 and founded the Hellenic Theatrical Group.

Many of the core group of HAT worked under and trained with Mantouridis, including Stavros Economidis, Dennis Messaris, Chris Messaris, Melpo Papas and Mimika Valaris.
In 1980, after the passing of his mentor (Chrysostomos Mantouridis) Stavros Economidis took on the role of Artistic Director.

Hellenic Art Theatre is born:
Wanting to venture into new horizons, Stavros Ecomomidis and his colleagues established the Hellenic Art Theatre in 1983
With the guidance received from Mantouridis and with great success, our first production, ‘Elecrtra’ by Sophocles, was performed in his honour.
In 1985 Hellenic Art Theatre moves into the Greek Cultural Association’s ‘hut’ at Addison Road Community Centre, now known as the Greek Theatre Mantouridion, or ‘The Greek’.

Over the years we have performed many select plays, including Greek Tragedies - Mantouridis’ specialty.His passion for tragedies has passed on to us.

Since then, Hellenic Art Theatre continues its mission to perform plays in Greek to keep the language alive for the new generations of Greeks in Australia.
Its repertoire includes plays by International and Greek playwrights, local Greek-Australian playwrights as well as Ancient Greek playwrights.
Genre includes satirical comedies, classics, ancient Greek tragedies and comedies, contemporary Greek Australian plays.

Since 2002 HAT has included surtitles in English for the classics and ancient Greek productions, reaching out not only to the now third generation of Greek Australians but to the wider community of theatre lovers and drama and English students that study Ancient Greek playwrights and plays as part of their studies.

Under the supervision of Stavros Economidis & Evelyn Tsavalas, HAT runs weekly Children’s Theatre Workshops as a community service, free of charge for children ages 6 -14.

The aim of these workshops is to make children aware of the Greek language and culture and to help with their personal development.  

Also, to introduce the youth to the ‘magical world’ of theatre.  Hayden Tsavalas and Stathis Messaris are an example of this, two young adults with a passion for theatre and have continued their involvement since early childhood.


john daviskas

John was born in Kypseli Arta, a mountainous village of Epirus Tzoumerkon.  A member of a large family of poor but progressive parents, he finished with honors and great financial difficulties his high schooling studies and later went to Athens for further TAFE education.  In 1976, at the age of 26, he took the first plane to the first country that has earned him a tourist visa.  He found himself in Sydney with no job, no knowledge of the English language but with a million dreams and wishes for a new beginning.  His eagerness, however, for a better tomorrow prompted him to continue his studies and graduated from the NSW Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in telecommunications.

In 1978 with a group of young Greeks manned the Greek Community Youth Association (GCYA), and it was during this time that he first came into contact with the Greek theatre.  He participated in many theatrical performances simulating various roles.  He also collaborated theatrically with the Association of Greek students at the University of Sydney.  In 1981 he participated in the theatrical group of the late director George Paizis taking part in the productions of “Stella Violanti'' and ''Philomena Marturano''.  He also helped other community theatre companies undertaking small and large roles in several plays.

In 1999, after a long interruption of some 14 years makes his first reappearance in the art world with the ''Hellenic Art Theatre'' in the play by Theodore Patrikareas, ''The Uncle from Australia''.

The first lead role came a little later in the folklore play ''O Fotinos'' impersonating the main role of Fotinos.  H has starred and participated in auxiliary roles in many plays always with the Hellenic Art Theatre (HAT) under the guidance of his dear friend and great artistic director of the troupe Stavros Economidis where admittedly most young actors of HAT owe their theatrical education.

Roles which he played and really loved are:  Jo Keller in the play '' All My Sons'', Creon inAntigone'', Darius thePersians'' and Agamemnon inIphigenia at Aulis''.

Today, John remains an active member of the troupe Hellenic Art Theatre - Australia.



Building 36

142 Addison Rd

Marrickville NSW 2204