James A. Panowski
Ph.D.,Bowling Green University
Dr. Panowski was Director of the Forest Roberts Theatre from 1977 to 2009. Born and raised in Jack Benny’s hometown of Waukegan, Illinois, Panowski received his B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University and his graduate degrees in Ohio. A twenty-year veteran of summer stock, he has acted in and directed over 100 productions. He has especially fond acting memories from his portrayal of Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes for the Millbrook (Pennsylvania) Playhouse and, most recently, his Black Box Theatre performance as Henry (the Old Actor) in The Fantasticks the summer of 2005. He was resident director and associate producer for the Carousel Playhouse (Wadsworth, Illinois) for five years and served as Artistic Director for the Timber Lake Playhouse (Mt. Carroll, Illinois). He orchestrated and served as Managing Director for the Island Playhouse at the Inns of Mackinac on Mackinac Island the summer of 1978. His teaching specialties include: directing theory, musical theatre, and theatre management. He is a musical theatre fanatic and has a warm spot in his heart for musical failures…especially after investing in Dear World! Panowski endowed the annual playwriting award in honor of his parents, and received a Distinguished Faculty Award in 1994. The James A. Panwoski Black Box is named in his honor.