On a sunny Sunday afternoon in June 2013, performer and singer Pat Henman, was driving home on the highway with her 19-year-old daughter, Maia, when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver.
Although both survived, their physical injuries still remain, and the emotional toll on their well-being and that of their family has become a story that inspired Henman to share in the only way she knew how — on stage with songs that express the intensity and the joy of a life changing event.
On April 9, Beyond the Legal Limit will premiere as a streamed, online theatrical performance with music based on the adaptation of Henman’s memoir by the same name.
This special event co-presented by Henman and the Capitol Theatre is part storytelling, part concert and recounts Henman’s trauma and recovery through a unique and passionate one-act drama with music. The performance embraces the many colours of survival with her words adapted by Canadian playwright and Genie Award nominee, Kelly Rebar, original music by Canadian musician/composer, Konrad Pluta and directed by award-winning B.C. artist Tracey Power, who says, “Pat’s bravery in sharing her story with others in the hopes of making a difference in other people’s lives is extremely important to me.”
Two others who share Power’s sentiment will share the stage with Henman – Sydney Black, a well-known performing artist and prolific producer, and Robyn Lamb, who will herself be featured as part of the Capitol Theatre’s Homegrown Season in her one-woman show, Me, Myself and Ireland, later in April.
Henman, a veteran of Canadian theatre with radio, television and film credits spanning over a 40-year career in the performing arts is also a life-long singer. When asked about the importance of music in her story, Henman says, “Music can express what sometimes the spoken word can’t do. Konrad’s songs are wildly dramatic and emotional. I get goose bumps listening to them.”
Working during the pandemic by Zoom and phone has been a challenge but the team was committed to the project.
“The chance to do it during the past year when all live theatre work had been wiped off the map has been an artistic lifeline,” says Pluta.
Although this production will not yet be possible with an audience in the theatre, the online premiere will ensure that audiences both local and farther afield will have the opportunity to experience this remarkable story now.
Created with support from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, the Amy Ferguson Institute, the Nelson Civic Theatre Artist in Residence Program, the Nelson and District Credit Union and the Canada Council for the Arts, Beyond the Legal Limit premieres on April 9 or anytime after that on-demand until April 16. Tickets are $10 plus fees and available at the Capitol Theatre box office or online at capitoltheatre.ca