According to the Edmonton Journal, the one-hour special will bring "viewers into the real and imagined worlds of the passionate actor and playwright renowned for his biting wit and existential themes" as it follows Panych preparing for two shows:
Vigil (2007) at the Vancouver Playhouse. An original work, it premiered at CanStage's Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto in 2004. That production of the characteristically dark comedy featured Martha Henry (who will be acting in this season at Stratford, as well as directing the Birmingham Conservatory) and Brent Carver (Elizabeth Rex ) as dying aunt and estranged nephew.
Panych Plays! will also document preparations for What Lies Before Us (2007), which premiered at the Berkeley Street Theatre and starred Matthew MacFadzean (The Glass Menagerie ), CanStage regular David Storch, and Wayne Sujo (The Adventures of Pericles ) stranded in the wilderness, starving and discussing the meaning of life.
Runs for both shows have since ended, but Panych (above, in a picture from his website) has two adaptations opening this theatre season.
The Amorous Adventures of Anatol (2008), from text by Arthur Schnitzler, opens February 16 at the Vancouver Playhouse. It will feature Mike Shara, David Marr, and Jennifer Lines as all seven women. Background and preliminary creative designs are online in Panych's Workbook (a space shared with Ken MacDonald).
Moby Dick (2008), from the novel by Herman Melville, begins previews July 22 at the Studio Theatre in Stratford with David Ferry as Captain Ahab. Ideas and images for this, too, are available in the Workbook.
Panych will also be directing the Hugh Wheeler (book) and Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) musical A Little Night Music (2008) for the Shaw Festival. Previews begin June 1 at the Court House Theatre. Find images, sketches, and ideas in the Workbook.