About

Note: This site is not intended to be a complete list of my publications, accomplishments and awards.

Popovich was a professional actor and director in the Los Angeles theatre scene before coming to the Midwest in 1981. He appeared in and/or directed productions at South Coast Repertory, Cabrillo Playhouse, and Tustin Theatre Guild, and many other SoCal theatres. 

He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the California State University and a Secondary Teaching Credential and Community College Teaching Credential from the California State University. He received an M.A. in Theatre from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in Theatre from the Ohio State University. He has taught secondary school full-time in California, Ohio, and Texas and University and Community College full-time in California, Texas, Ohio and Michigan.

Popovich developed the Associate Arts Degree in Theatre consisting of over 40 classes at Henry Ford College, and founded The New Playwright’s Workshop, which produces new plays by Michigan playwrights. Popovich’s productions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Macbeth, The Grapes of Wrath, The Tempest, The Skriker and Bug were honored by the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. 

Popovich produced several groundbreaking live theatrical productions using real-time digital scenery and motion capture and created an entire curriculum for technicians and actors interested in acting for the camera, greenscreen performance , voice performance, and performance capture.. He created a Visual Effects Certificate program, offered by The Virtual Theatricality lab. His virtual reality production of The Tempest was a regional winner at The Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival at Illinois State University. He directed The virtual reality production of Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker, which used motion capture technology to create the demonic fairies.  He is listed in Who’s Who in America for his pioneering work in digital theatre through The Virtual Theatricality Lab. He was invited to the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival to give a Motion Capture Workshop and won the Michigan Education LAND award for best innovation and the Community College Innovation League Award. He presented several performance capture workshops for The Detroit chapter of The Screen Actors Guild. His Virtual Theatricality Lab was a national finalist for The Bellwether Award, which honors innovation in community college teaching.

Popovich’s productions have been featured and reviewed by The Associated Press, The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit Metro Times, Michigan Vue, Marsdust, The News Herald, The Dearborn Press and Guide, The Dearborn Times Herald, Dramabiz, and Encore, Mi. He is a member of the Dearborn Theatre Hall of Fame. He was presented the Artist-Performer Award by the Dearborn Arts Council in 1993.

Popovich’s articles on film, performance theory, and digital theater have appeared in many scholarly journals and his essay on the advanced theoretical applications of computer-generated theatrical scenery were included in Theater and Cyberspace, a book of critical essays. His Virtual Theatricality Lab won national and international recognition. Popovich’s work with the Virtual Theatricality lab was featured in Palgrave Studies in Performance and Technology: Digital Theatre: The Making and Meaning of Live Mediated Performance by Nadja Masura. His dissertation on modern science fiction films serves as a reference work for scholars in the United States and in Europe.

Popovich appeared in the Hollywood commercial feature film Misled in 2013, starring Popovich’s former student, Jonathan Stanley. Popovich’s month-long, sold-out production of the 3D children’s show, Dinosaurus! was presented by The Virtual Theatricality Lab in November, 2014. In March of 2015, he was awarded the Dearborn Mayor’s Arts Educator Award. His last directorial effort at HFC was Bug in 2016. He retired from his full-time position at HFC in May, 2017. He currently teaches online at HFC.

Popovich has been active directing since his retirement in 2017. Post-retirement productions include Almost Maine, Arsenic and Old Lace , Wait Until Dark (The Community Theatre of Howell), Shakespeare in Love (Peppermint Creek Theatre), Sweat, and Lobby Hero (Riverwalk Theatre). Popovich will direct Murder on the Orient Express At The Community Theatre of Howell in January, 2023. Post-retirement film work includes the indie horror film The Frightened President and Skinhead in 2019. Popovich is an avid gardener and is a Master Gardener with Michigan State University’s Extension Program. Post-retirement travel includes Ireland and Eastern Europe.


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