Remembering Dr. James Panowski, Northern Michigan University Theatre Legend

Filed under: The Sunny Morning Show,U.P. News Updates |

Dr. James Panowski in the Sunny Studios in 2009.

Marquette, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Today, word is moving across the country about the passing of Dr. James Panowski, former Director of the Forest Roberts Theatre on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI.

Panowski served as the Director from 1977 to 2009, and advanced the Upper Michigan art and cultural scene with his efforts educate NMU students by presenting a wide variety of productions at the FRT.

Dr. James Cantrill, Communication and Performance Studies Department Head at NMU, released the following statement today:

“It is with great sadness that we, in CAPS, must inform you of the passing of Dr. James A. Panowski late last night in the care of Upper Peninsula Home Health and Hospice. A longtime NMU friend and colleague, “Dr. P” was a true champion for the NMU Theatre program and arts on campus. We will continue his legacy of giving 110% our time to our students and our community, just as he did.

Arrangements are currently being made for the celebration of Dr. P’s life planned for July of this year. It is with the strongest sense of love and compassion that the NMU Communications and Performance Studies Department says goodbye to Dr. James Panowski who has, alas, taken his final bow.”

Dr. P was a long-time morning show guest on Sunny FM, and in his honor, here is an excerpt of an interview that we did with him after his retirement in May of 2009.  As you will hear, he loved his students and the 32 years he spent with the NMU Theatre program.

We will miss him.


LISTEN IN – Dr. James Panowski discusses his retirement from Northern Michigan University.




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