Ljubica Gavrilovska stars in the OCC theater production of “The Dead Guy,” a play written by Eric Coble and directed by Dennis North to be shown at 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23.
The International Academy graduate, 23, of Oxford, joined the college’s theater program in the summer of 2013 to study theater production. She is one of three students employed as a theater technician at the Smith Theater, setting up production for music concerts, lectures and plays. In September, at the suggestion of a friend, she auditioned for the lead. Ljubica is also enrolled in voice and directing classes this fall at OCC.
What is The Dead Guy about?
The Dead Guy is a reality show where a contestant gets to spend $1 million over seven days. A camera man follows his every move and broadcasts his adventures on national television. For hard-luck Eldon Phelps, the deal is irresistible. But there’s a twist at the end that the audience determines.
What role do you play and do you share any personality traits with her?
I play a TV producer named Gina Yaweth. She’s a shark who is very in charge and in control. In the play, she controls every single aspect of the TV show, who is cast, what is shot and where. She’s very manipulative and not very nice. Unfortunately, she acts in such a way that everyone does what she asks. She’s relatable and likeable. She is kind of mean but you still like her. I would like to say that I’m nothing like her. I’m a goofy theater kid. She’s pretty opposite from me.
What is your background in theater?
I have been performing since I was four. Initially I trained as a dancer and musician (piano and vocal; later, guitar), I discovered my true passion in high school in theatre. As a junior I portrayed Golde in "Fiddler on the Roof" and followed the next year as Amneris in "AIDA", where I also tried my hand in directing. I started college at Boston University, where I become involved in more technical aspects of theater—producing specifically.
What did you do while at BU?
I started at Boston University as an International Relations major, with a minor in French. I then changed to English, minoring in theater. Then I decided to get a full on theater degree. At BU, I was very involved in student theater. I was involved in all aspects of it -- producing, marketing, advertising, budgets for shows, hair and makeup, costumes, all background stuff. I never had the chance to get on the stage when I was there. I came back home to attend OCC. I decided to stay here. I was hired to work in as theater support. I have worked on lectures, music shows, and now I got the lead role in this play, which is kind of daunting but it’s mostly exciting and new.
Were you interested in theater before college?
In high school, I never thought of it as a legitimate option. I was involved in forensics and drama, choir and band. I was really into performance and arts. It most certainly started in high school.
What do you see in your future?
I plan to graduate in December with an Associate’s in Theatre. I love Michigan and it is my home but I do want to go to New York City. I do like producing and would enjoy doing that sometime in the future, but my main focus now is acting. That may change, but bringing characters to life and walking in their world for that short time is something I absolutely love and don’t want to give up any time soon. So for me, that’s what the future holds.
Tickets are for sale now for “The Dead Guy.” Faculty and staff receive two complimentary tickets for all Smith Theatre productions at the college’s Orchard Ridge campus. General admission is $8. Students and seniors, 60 and over, pay $5. The curtain rises for all performances at 8 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the OCC Raiders Store or at the Smith Theatre Box Office on the day of the performance. Tickets may also be reserved in advance by calling 248-522-3666. For more information on the array of theatre courses offered, check out the theatre website.