melpo papadopoulou

Melpo came to Australia in 1955.  She had her first contact with Chrysostomos  Mantouridis in 1956.  She worked next to her big teacher and in 1963 played her first role in the play by G. B. Shaw "Pygmalion". There followed many plays like "Hecuba" (Euripides), "Rainmaker" (R. Nash), "Lover of the Shepherdess" (D. Koromilas) and others, on most Melpo was the leading acress.

When Mantouridis died she continues with Stavros Economidis.  She plays with him and participates in other productions such as "Don Camillo" (S. Pantatzis), "The Bear" (Anton Chekhov), "The Song of the Dead Brother" (M. Theodorakis) and many others totaling more than fifty.

In 1995, she was awarded by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW for her contribution to theatre.  Also in 1999, she was awarded by the S.A.E.

Melpo belongs to the key members of the Hellenic Art Theatre.  She has worked in all areas of the theatre and her experience has much to offer to Greek Community theatre of Sydney.

Cast & Crew

Kiki Betty

Kiki has been involved with the theatre since 1975, with teacher George Paizis and later in various groups of the community. With the Hellenic Art Theatre has played in many projects such as - 'The Courtyard of Miracles' (Iakovos Kampanellis), 'The Uncle Costas and the Virgin' (Koula Theo), 'The Lyra of Uncle Nicholas' (D. Cocos), ‘A Pair of Socks’ (Koula Theo) and "The Divided Souls" (Theodore Patrikareas). More recently, she has participated in the 'Zoe’s Gift' (Melpo Papadopoulos), a chorus leader in "Iphigenia in Aulis" (Euripides), "Fear and Shame' (Dushan Ristevski) & ‘Liar Wanted' (Dimitris Psathas). Kiki has completed Modern Greek Studies...

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Christina Calligas

Born in Argos, Greece and migrated to Australia in 1976.  Christina joined Hellenic Art Theatre in 2012 and has performed in the following plays: 2012 - ‘Blissful Sunset Nursing Home’ (Manolis Korres), 2013 - ‘Zoe’s Gift’ (Melpo Papadopoulos), 2014 - ‘Fear & Shame’ (Dushan Ristevski), 2015 - ‘Liar Wanted’ (Dimitris Psathas).  When not performing, Christina is always at hand to help with front of house and other general duties.  Christina enjoys performing and looks forward to future productions.

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Athanasia Costa

Athanasia is completing a Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney.  Her majors include Performance Studies and Modern Greek.  She joined HAT in 2013 where she performed the title role in Euripides ‘Iphigenia in Aulis’.  She has also performed in Don Camillo (S. Patatzis) and ‘The Glutton’ (Fotiadis & Vrontakis).  She is currently taking part in our upcoming production by Aristophanes ‘Ecclesiazouses’. She was also involved in the HAT Youth Group Production of ‘Robotaki’ (C. Sakellarios) in 2014, where she mentored and worked backstage with 25 children (aged 5-16) as co- stage manager. Athanasia from a young age...

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Nikole Georgitsis

Nikole was born in Leonidion, Arcadias - Greece.  She migrated to Australia in 1985.  In 2010, she took part in ‘There is Pride’ (A. Sakellarios & X. Giannakopoulos), and many other plays including: ‘Tha se kano Vasilissa’ (A. Sakellarios & X. Giannakopoulos), she took part in the chorus in ‘Πerses’ (Aeschylus) & ‘Oedipus Tyrannus’ (Sophocles), ‘Zoe’s Gift’ (Melpo Papadopoulos) and ‘The Glutton’.  When she is not on stage, Nikole always helps with any other duties required for a production such as backstage and front of house.  For Niki, Theatre is a fantastic experience and she hopes to continue for many years to come.

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Zisis Koustoulis

Born in Larisa in 1970, Zisis started his acting with the ‘Thessaliko Theatro’.  His dream came true when he played in ‘Anitgone’ at Epidavros in 1989 alongside Kostas Arzoglou. He joined Hellenic Art Theatre in 2006 where he played in ‘Coutyard of Miracles’ and has since performed in a number of productions including: ‘Antigone’ (Sophocles), ‘There is Pride’ & ‘Tha Se Kano Vasilissa’ (Α. Sakellarios & C. Giannakopoulos), Chekov’s ‘The Bear’, ‘Iphigenia in Aulis’ (Euripides),  ‘The Glutton’ (Fotiadis & Vrontakis), ‘Liar Wanted’ (Dimitris Psathas)

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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...

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Stathis D. Messaris

Stathis was effectively born into the Hellenic Art Theatre (HAT) through his already well known and established parents Dennis and Christine Messaris.  As such, he was introduced to the world of theatre throughout his upbringing both on stage and behind the scenes.  Stathis has also completed his tertiary education, Bachelor of Commerce, in 2015 at Macquarie University. Over the last 8 years, Stathis has undertaken the responsibility of lighting and sound technician at every HAT production.  Tied into this role is also the technical preparation of the surtitle projections as well as the physical lighting preparations of the projection lighting on the theatre...

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Hayden Tsavalas

Hayden Tsavalas, born in Sydney, is a third generation Greek - Australian.  His grandparents migrated to Australia from Cyprus and Greece. At the age of 5, he was in ‘Karagiozis goes to SAE’ and later played Morfonio in ‘Karagiozis in Australia’. He attended Hellenic Art Theatre Children’s workshops as a child and later assisted Stavros and Evelyn at the workshops. He was only 9 when he played the important role of the ghost of Polydorus in the Ancient Greek tragedy, ‘Hecuba’(2002). Hayden has also been involved with other aspects of theatre including Stage Managing.  He studied Drama for the HSC and was involved in the...

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Nick Tsioukanis

Nick Tsioukanis was born in Velventos, Kozani Greece.  He immigrated to Australia in 1970. Nick has been involved in Greek theatre for over 2 decades, mainly with stage construction and other backstage duties.  He has been a loyal supporter of Hellenic Art Theatre (HAT) for many years. In 2015, Nick participated in HAT Theatre workshops, it is here that he discovered the ’magic’ of performing.  He then performed in HAT’s production of ‘Liar Wanted’ (Dimitris Psathas) and will be taking part in our upcoming production of ‘Ecclesiazouses’ (Aristophanes).

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Costas Vertzayias

A Lawyer, writer and activist.  Passionate about Hellenism.  Has served in many positions promoting the Greek language and Hellenic issues for which he was awarded an AM. Although a long time supporter of Hellenic Art Theatre, he also now performs the occasional role.  He has performed in ‘Blissful Sunset – Nursing Home’ (Manolis Korres), ‘The Glutton’ (Fotiadis & Vrontakis). 

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Dion Vertzayias

 Dion is a Lawyer and linguist.  He has been performing in theatrical productions from his high school days, a regular member of the Hellenic Art Theatre for more than 15 years, performing in many leading roles e.g ‘Glass Menagerie’ (Tennesse Williams) & ‘Blissful Sunset – Nursing Home’ (Manolis Korres).  Other plays he has performed include: Hecuba (Euripides), ‘All My Sons’ (Arthur Miller), ‘There is Pride’ (Α. Sakellarios & C. Giannakopoulos), ‘A Pair of Cultures’(Κoula Τeo), ‘Don Camillo’ (S. Patatzis). As a third generation Greek-Australian he believes the theatre plays an invaluable role in the maintenance of the Greek language.

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Liana Vertzayia

Pianist, graduated from Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1973. Has performed in over 20 plays, many times in the leading role e.g ‘A Pair of Cultures’(Κoula Τeo), ‘Agapes Pathi and Paramythia’ (G. Makridis).  Other plays she has performed include: ‘Hecuba’ (Euripides), ‘Tessera Podia Tou Trapeziou’ (I. Kabanellis), ‘There is Pride’ (Α. Sakellarios & C. Giannakopoulos), ‘Protokolo Tou Protokolou’ (V. Kostaras), ‘Blissful Sunset – Nursing Home’ (Manolis Korres),’ Zoe’s Gift’ (M. Papas). Liana believes that the dedication of the group is both inspirational and an important contribution to the conservation of Hellenic cultural identity.

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Volunteers

Freeda Economidis, Maria Georgiou, Sophia Balafas, Petros & Konstantina Karavatakis, Dimitris Serafim, Connie Daviskas & Thanasis Fotiadis

Board

Stavros Economidis

Stavros Economidis, is a Greek Cypriot from Egypt and migrated to Australia at an early age. In 1965 he met his mentor, Chrysostomos Mantouridis who introduced him to the art of Theatre. After Mantouridis’ death in 1980, Stavros became the Artistic Director of the Hellenic Theatrical Group. Stavros decided to formalise his Theatrical education and attended the Ensemble Studio’s 3 year course, under Hayes Gordon. In 1983, Stavros established the Hellenic Art Theatre, a professional group and has remained to this day its Artistic Director. As an Actor, Stavros had taken part in a number of plays including the Rainmaker, Don Camillo...

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Melpo Papadopoulou

Melpo came to Australia in 1955.  She had her first contact with Chrysostomos  Mantouridis in 1956.  She worked next to her big teacher and in 1963 played her first role in the play by G. B. Shaw "Pygmalion". There followed many plays like "Hecuba" (Euripides), "Rainmaker" (R. Nash), "Lover of the Shepherdess" (D. Koromilas) and others, on most Melpo was the leading acress. When Mantouridis died she continues with Stavros Economidis.  She plays with him and participates in other productions such as "Don Camillo" (S. Pantatzis), "The Bear" (Anton Chekhov), "The Song of the Dead Brother" (M. Theodorakis) and many others...

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Evelyn Tsavalas

Evelyn (Georgiou) Tsavalas was born in Sydney, to Greek Cypriot immigrant parents.  She joined Hellenic Art Theatre in 1997 and became involved with all aspects of theatre which lead to her position of Production Manager. Evelyn and Stavros Economidis conduct Hellenic Art Theatre Children’s Workshops.   In March 2014, she   co-directed with Stavros the Youth Group’s production of ‘Robotaki’. She has also been involved in special projects, representing HAT which use theatre as a learning tool for CALD communities, in particular the Greek community and health professionals. Her acting credits with HAT are mainly Ancient Greek tragedies, as these are her passion.  She was...

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Dennis Messaris

Dennis was born in Argostoli, Kefalonia - Greece where he spent his childhood and graduated from high school with honors.  He migrated to Sydney, Australia in 1972 to pursue his tertiary education studying Civil Engineering and Photography. From toddler, he nurtured special love for theatre, a medium that he believes it gives you the opportunity and at the same time the ability for self-expression.  In 1977, he started his involvement with the Greek Community Theatre.  During the same year, he acquainted Chrysostomος Mantouridis who initiated him and taught him the acting art forthe four years he devoted to him.  He initially...

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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...

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Address

Building 36

142 Addison Rd

Marrickville NSW 2204

info@hellenicarttheatre.com.au

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