Our People

The Board

Dr. Menas Kafatos - Thaao Penghlis - Daphne Valentina  -

Shelly Papadopoulos - Socrates Alafouzos

 

Legal Advisor - Secretary: Pantelis Kodogiannis 

Socrates Alafouzos

Founder - Artistic Director

Dr. Menas Kafatos

Socrates Alafouzos is an internationally award-winning Director, Writer and Actor.

 

After studying theater, film and photography in Athens, Greece he attained a Fulbright scholarship in the U.S., where he continued his postgraduate studies in acting and directing. While there, Socrates wrote and directed his first play, the one act play America. He later returned to Greece and soon became a very well known actor.

 

In 2012, he made his debut as a screenwriter, film director and producer with his short film, Little King, and in 2015 he wrote, directed and produced his second film, Between Black and White. Both films received numerous awards and participated in many film festivals around the world. He has also directed documentaries, commercials, corporate and music videos.

 

In 2016, he returned to the U.S. after receiving a Visa granted to those who have attained extraordinary achievements in their field.

 

In late 2019, he founded the Theatron of the Americas in the US, a theater organization, whose purpose is to operate a repertory theatre group that educates and raises awareness of ancient Greek theater through theatrical presentations.

 

He has been the Good-Will Ambassador for the Elisa-Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children since 2014. 

Menas C. Kafatos is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations (CEESMO). As founding dean of the Schmid College of Science and Technology and vice provost at Chapman, he promoted and established interdisciplinary educational and research projects, and subsequently as Director of CEESMO, he leading many science grants. His doctoral thesis advisor was the renowned M.I.T. professor Philip Morrison who studied under J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Author, physicist and philosopher, he works in quantum mechanics, cosmology, the environment, climate change, and natural hazards, and extensively on philosophical issues of consciousness, connecting science to metaphysical traditions. He leads collaborations of his research teams with a number of universities and international institutions, including the University of Athens; the California Institute of Integral Studies; the following Korean universities, Korea University, Chungnam National University, Kyung Hee University, Ewha Woman’s University, & Seoul National University; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Athens Academy, National Observatory of Athens, the Institute of Geodynamics in Greece; Academia Sinica, Taiwan; Chiba University, Japan, Univ. of Basilicata, Italy; the Chinese Academy of Sciences etc.

He holds seminars and workshops for individuals, groups and corporations on the universal principles for well-being and human potential. He works extensively and leads projects in all areas of hazards: Wildfires; droughts; dust transport; hurricane modeling; as well as impacts of climate change on agriculture and natural ecosystems. Climate related research, including seasonal to inter annual variability and effects on vegetation; climate change impacts on agriculture; connection of climate and possible impacts on hurricanes, dust storms and wildfires. Author of 335 refereed articles and book chapters, in Earth and space, quantum mechanics and philosophy, interdisciplinary publications. Publications in high impact and top reputation journals such as two in each, Nature and Scientific American. Citations: 7,200+ (just in Research Gate, 2019). Highest Citation of single article: 500. Has led innovative interdisciplinary programs which impact education at all levels including Masters and doctoral programs in Earth and Space and computational systems at both George Mason University and since 2008 at Chapman University.

He is Member, Chapman University $1M Club (2013). Appointed as Affiliated Researcher with National Observatory of Athens (June 2013). Appointed as International Scholar Kyung Hee University (December 2013); Korea University (March 2015). Recipient of the Denny Award, joint paper in Operational Oceanography, chosen as the best paper of the year by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, UK. 2018. Member of foreign national academies, including the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, and the Romanian Academy of Science.

Author or editor of 21 books, including The Conscious Universe (Springer, 2000), Looking In, Seeing Out (Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), Living the Living Presence (in Greek, Melissa, 2017; and in Korean, Miruksa Press, 2016), Science, Reality and Everyday Life (in Greek, Asimakis 2019 and in English 2020), and is co-author with Deepak Chopra of the NY Times Bestseller You are the Universe (Harmony/Random House/Penguin, 2017, translated into many languages and in many countries). IEEE Orange County Chapter - Outstanding Leadership and Professional Service Award, 2011.

 

Writes blogs for the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. You can learn more at http://www.menaskafatos.com 

Thaao Penghlis

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Nominated for three Emmys Thaao Penghlis was born and raised in Sydney, Australia to Greek-born parents. Penghlis decided to move to New York City to study art history and fashion.  While in New York City, he met legendary acting coach, theatre director and fellow Greek, Milton Katselas, who helped the young student discover his true calling, acting. Penghlis worked as Katselas’ assistant for nearly a decade while often appearing in his productions. He made his New York stage debut in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play Jockeys. Penghlis has stared in the films Slow Dancing in the Big City, directed by John Avildsen, Altered States, directed by Ken Russell, The Bell Jar and The Mirror. Penghlis then won the role of charismatic Tony DiMera on Days of our Lives.

Penghlis next starred in 1989 as Nicholas Black on the prime time series revival of Mission: Impossible. On television, he has starred in the miniseries Sadat, appeared opposite Omar Sharif and Jane Seymour in the miniseries adaptation of Sydney Sheldon’s Memories of Midnight, and played a terrorist in the critically acclaimed television film Under Siege with Peter Strauss and Hal Holbrook. Penghlis also starred opposite Joanna Cassidy in the miniseries Tribe. But perhaps his most unusual role was playing the lover of Dame Edna (Barry Humphries) in the cult classic Les Patterson Saves the World.

He starred in the world premiere play "Class” and his one-man show "Journeys” on the East Coast to great reviews. These past few years, Thaao starred in films, “The Story of Esther,” “Job’s Daughter,” “Redeemed” and the short film “The Secret of Joy,” dealing with children with cancer.

A world- class traveler, Penghlis had his first book “PLACES” published in 2015 garnering great reviews. It deals with his journeys to the Middle East and the dangers he encountered in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. His second book, “Seducing Celebrities One Meal at a Time,” was released in November 2016.

Thaao’s lifelong fascination with archaeology researched over 60,000 documents of the famous archeologist Heinrich Schliemann who is the subject of his latest screenplay. The ultimate adventurer, Penghlis has trekked across the Sinai desert, climbed Mt. Sinai, soared in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, and survived both crashes.

He is now creating a podcast on a Homer Trilogy bringing Ulysses home after 3000yrs. Thaao Penghlis makes his home in Los Angeles.

Daphne Valentina

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Daphne Valentina’s entrepreneurial spirit and creative thread guided her diverse career trajectory into banking, clothing design, hair and make up, film, theater, real estate development and international investment.

 

Daphne is a Documentary Film Writer/Producer/Director.

 

She was a member of the elite team of Cosmetologists who lent their talent preparing for the Athens 2004 Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies. 


Her artistic soul thrives when painting, marble sculpting, cooking, entertaining and immersing herself in international travel and culture.

 

Born in the U.S., Greek was Daphne’s first language. By the age of seven, she had been exposed to opera and live ancient Greek theater. This exposure left an indelible impression that inspires her love of the arts to this day.


The ancient Greeks shared wisdom, truths, humor, sarcasm and satire through live theater. Their themes are as applicable today as when they were written almost 2,500 years ago. 

 

Daphne is honored to be a member of Theatron of the Americas Board.  She is excited to lend her support and expertise in Ancient Greek Theater to educate and entertain contemporary audiences of all ages.

Shelly Papadopoulos

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Shelly Papadopoulos was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and immigrated with her parents to the U.S.  She enjoyed a lengthy career in the legal field as a law firm administrator.

 

Shelly has an extensive history of volunteering while having served on many boards and holding a multitude of board positions.  She attained a Certificate in Fundraising from UCLA and specializes in grant writing, collaborating with organizations and businesses and event planning.

 

Shelly is currently the president of the Greek Heritage Society of Southern California.  Since joining in 1997, she has fund raised, chaired special events and written grants. Among the special projects she headed up is the documentary trilogy about the Greeks of Southern California.  She is Executive Producer of “The Promise of Tomorrow 1940-1960” and “The New Greek Americans 1960-2018.”

 

In 2007, Shelly joined Angeliki Giannakopoulos and Ersi Danou to create the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival.  She has served in many capacities, including development, administration, finance, sponsorship and box office.

 

In addition, Shelly is the Regional Director of the Hellenic American Women’s Council Pacific Region.

 

Shelly is honored to bring her talents and experience to Theatron of the Americas.  She looks forward to helping the organization expand awareness of Ancient Greek Drama to audiences in California and throughout the U.S. and abroad.