Alex Litsoudis: A journey through performance and art

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Alex Litsoudis is an artist, actor and film maker. Born with an intellectual disability, Alex has defied societal expectations and forged a remarkable career spanning over twenty-five years. From acting on stage to exhibiting artwork, his journey is one of resilience, passion, and creativity.

For over two decades, Alex has been a pioneering performer on both stage and screen. His repertoire includes notable performances in acclaimed productions such as the eLearning series for carers ‘Zero Tolerance – Understand Abuse’ by the NDS (National Disability Services), the ABC series ‘Seven Types of Ambiguity,’ the stage play ‘A Place Called Maze’ (La Mama Theatre), and the immersive experience ‘Light of the Mind’ at the Nocturnal Festival.

In 2011, Alex took a leap into filmmaking, producing the autobiographical film ‘Who Is He?’ which debuted at the Greek festival in 2010.  The film has since garnered attention at film festivals both locally and internationally and has been broadcast on television in Melbourne and Greece. Alex also performed in the 2006 Commonwealth Games ceremony with the 1,000 so called ‘Commonwealth Dames’ as part of Dame Edna Everage’s Melbourne tribute.

Fusion Theatre, Down But-Not-Out.

Back in 1997, he embarked on the initiative to establish a drama group, catering specifically to adults with intellectual disabilities. Building upon previous involvement with performers from ‘The Ability Bunch’, Alex and members of the group reached out to Deakin University’s School of Performing Arts. A pivotal meeting ensued between Alex, Deakin University and representatives from disability service provider ‘Leisure Link-up’ (now ‘The Bridge Connects’), The City of Greater Dandenong, and Springvale Neighbourhood House. As a result, two highly successful pilot workshops were conducted in 1997, leading to the inception of ‘Dramability.’

Transitioning to ‘Fusion Theatre,’ an inclusive performance company, in 2013 marked a significant evolution for the group. Securing funding from Arts Victoria (now Creative Victoria) for mentorship development provided recognition of the program’s importance. Under the mentorship of Andrea Litras, a six-month training program was undertaken, culminating in the production of a showpiece featuring hired professional actors. 

Seven Types of Ambiguity with Alex-Dimitriades.

As a founding member of ‘Fusion,’ Alex has been instrumental in fostering inclusive opportunities within the arts. Through dedication and collaboration with various stakeholders, Alex and his group created a platform that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to explore and engage with the world of drama and performing arts.

Beyond the stage and screen, Alex has been a visual artist for over a decade. His artistic journey is deeply personal, driven by a passion for storytelling through painting.  His works often capture glimpses of innermost thoughts and emotions from childhood memories and places visited. His artistic endeavours have been nurtured through programs like ‘ArtAbility’, a visual arts initiative by ADEC (Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities). This program has provided Alex with a platform to explore his creativity and develop his unique artistic voice.

In 2019, he presented his first exhibition at the Heritage Hill in Dandenong. In the same year, he received a generous grant from City of Greater Dandenong with ‘AuspicousArts’ to continue production of a film based on five artists with disabilities, titled ‘Who Are They?’.  During a lengthy process with the onset of COVID in 2020-21 and now in its final stages of production, Alex hopes to present his film to audiences in 2024.

Through his many performances, film making and artwork, he continues to challenge perceptions, breaks barriers, and celebrate diversity.

Alex Litsoudis is amongst many Greek Australian artists who have participated in the GAAD (Greek Australian Artist Directory). An initiative by the Greek Australian Cultural League (GACL), the GAAD celebrates Greek Australian visual and performing artists by showcasing their works and contributions to the Australian arts landscape. 

By preserving and promoting the artistic legacy of Greek Australian artists, the directory ensures that their talents are duly acknowledged and cherished, cementing their place in Australia’s artistic narrative.

Alex Litsoudis in the film “Who is He?”

Interested artists can register their profiles by visiting www.gacl.com.au and clicking on the dedicated GAAD section.  For any inquiries related to the GAAD, individuals can either email GACL President Cathy Alexopoulos infogaclm@gmail.com or contact GAAD Co-ordinator Vasy Petros on 0412 242 557.

*Written by Vasy Petros. This is a Greek Australian Cultural League Initiative supported by The Greek Herald.

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