Speaker: Stathis Grapsas
When: Thursday 10 October 2019 | 7:00pm
Where: The Greek Centre, Mezzanine Level, 168 Lonsdale Street , Melbourne
Starting from the Melbourne Greek Community Children’s Theatre group in 1979 (the UNICEF Year of the Child), to the Athens theatre scene and eventually developing his own method – a personal development workshop for prisoners. Now a collaborator with the Greek National Theatre in four major prison facilities in Greece, his work has been presented in cities across Europe and America.
The emphasis in his work is about personal development being achieved within an ensemble environment. The group becomes a family from which we keep growing and manage to gain a new perspective on life, new experiences and limits that we keep striving to surpass.
Stathis has trained as an actor in Melbourne, London and Athens, and has performed in most major cities in Europe, at the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, at the Ancient Theatre of Epidavros and the Herodes Atticus Theatre in Athens. In Post-War Belgrade (2001), he organized and conducted theatre workshops for beneficiaries in 10 institutions for homeless and parentless children and youth. He was the assistant director for the BBC on location in Greece for the November 17 documentary. In June 2010, he undertook a project with migrant primary school students and presented a provocative text titled Furtive Life.
From 2010 to 2013 he ran a personal development workshop on a voluntary basis, in a Greek prison for young offenders. In 2011 the theatre group in the prison started performing to audiences from within the community and also travelled via police escort to other prisons to perform. His experience extends to working with youth under court supervision and conducting workshops for released adult prisoners. Before leaving Greece in 2013, Stathis conducted a workshop for prisoners in the Korydallos Psychiatric Prison of Athens.
From 2003 to 2013, he was the resident director at Hydrama Theatre and Arts Centre, where he conducted workshops for students and professional actor, focusing on the political aspect of Ancient Greek Tragedy and its contemporary application.
Upon his return to Melbourne, he conducted a workshop in a local remand facility and collaborated with the Northland Youth Centre on a project for high-risk youth. In 2015 he started a 2-year voluntary initiative with three actors from the Fusion Theatre Company and presented an original piece of work titled, Heroes of the Past and Present.
He has worked for the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) both as an actor and a director. Apart from his work with students from the Greek Schools run by the GCM, he also worked with the Creative Drama and Arts group which consisted of predominantly Greek migrants and presented work devised by the group itself.
Stathis is currently based in Greece and continues his work in four prison facilities and as a workshop facilitator for the Epanodos Organization which caters for released prisoners and continues his work at the Hydrama Theatre and Arts Centre.