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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.

christine messaris

Born in Sydney to Greek parents from Epirus.

Chris’ first contact with the theatre was in 1977 with Chrisostomos Mandourides of the Hellenic Theatrical Group. 

However, her first foray into acting came in 1982 under the direction of Stavros Economides in “Gallery of Fools”.  She went on to perform various roles with the Hellenic Art Theatre including, “Uncle from Australia” and “Zorba the Greek” amongst others.

Her love of ancient tragedies began as a chorus leader in “Trojan Women” in 1991 and followed on with “Hecuba”, “Antigone”, “Oedipus Rex” and others.

Throughout her years with the theatre she has involved herself in other aspects of theatre including light and sound, make-up and assisting front of house and back stage.



Building 36

142 Addison Rd

Marrickville NSW 2204