We have developed a tabletop apparatus for generating planar shock waves in miniature liquid cuvettes from the impact of a laser driven flyer plate. The liquid is sandwiched between an optical window and a thin aluminum lid, used to prevent evaporation. Photon Doppler velocimetry is performed on both the flyer plate and the lid to confirm a reproducible planar shock. Our current array design has 55 microcuvettes, each holding 125 nL, on a glass substrate, and we often do 100 shots per day. This technique was applied to investigate the photophysics and photochemistry of a dye probe rhodamine 6G in shock compressed water. We developed an advanced spectroscopy system that employs a quasi-continuous laser excitation pulse and a spectrograph with streak camera to measure time-dependent photoemission spectra. The shocked dye shows an immediate loss of emission intensity due to enhanced intersystem crossing followed by a more gradual and long-lasting increase in emission intensity over about 150 ns, likely due to proton transfer from the shocked water to the dye molecules.