Sat, Apr 08|
Huntington Hills Community Association
Beyond the Legal Limit: A Theatrical Presentation with Music - Calgary
Adapted from Pat Henman's Memoir, Beyond the Legal Limit: Surviving a Crash with a Drunk Driver. Original music by Konrad Pluta.
Time & Location
Apr 08, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Huntington Hills Community Association, 520 78 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2K 0S2, Canada
About the event
Beyond the Legal Limit is a theatrical performance with music based on the adaptation of Pat Henman’s memoir of the same name.
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 Pat to share in the only way she knew how—on stage with songs that expresses the intensity and the joy of a life changing event.
Part story-telling, part concert, Pat tells the story of trauma and recovery in this unique and passionate one act drama with music, while embracing the many colours of survival presented on stage with her words, adapted by Canadian playwright and Genie Award nominee, Kelly Rebar, and original music by Canadian musician/composer and musical theatre director, Konrad Pluta. Theatre Director, writer and performer, Tracey Power is well known as a BC artist, with her recent premier of GLORY, inspired by the true story of the Preston Rivulettes, winning the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play.
Konrad Pluta, who has worked with Pat on several past projects explains why he was drawn to the projects, “What attracted me to this project was the challenge of musically enhancing a story which already stood on its own, was compelling and fully formed.; to attempt to compose music and lyrics which would not detract but find a new way into the story,”
Kelly Rebar, also a friend of Pat’s and resident of Nelson for over twenty years, gives her reason to participate, “ Adapting from written text to a stage presentation was attractive to me in that it allowed for the potential of a dynamic reading, the incorporation of music, and the opportunity for the writer to have her story reach a wider audience. My aim was to bring elements of the story together in such a way that the book was served, but also the presentation.”
Pat had been looking for a theatre director who did not know her or her story, to have a fresh perspective on the piece. She began to ask members of the Canadian theatre community for recommendations. Tracey Powers name popped up a few times. After having a few conversations with Tracey, who is now based in Kamloops, the two decided they were a good fit. “ 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.”
Working during the pandemic by Zoom and phone has been a challenge but all four of the team were committed to the project. “The chance to do it during the past year when all live theater work had been wiped off the map has been an artistic lifeline,” says Konrad.
Pat is joined on stage by two artists, Rachel DeShon, as the Singer and Sue Gould, as the Musician on piano. Both are accomplished musicians and performers. Rachel hails from Seattle, with a voice that has been described as "undeniably fantastic".
Pat describes the importance of music in her story. “Theatre is storytelling; musical theatre adds an extra element that supports the text, a thread that connects thoughts, driving the plot. Music can express what sometimes the spoken word can’t always do. Konrad’s songs are wildly dramatic and emotional. I get goose bumps listening to them.”
Pat is a veteran of Canadian theatre as actor, singer and director, with radio, television and film credits spanning over a 40 year career in the performing arts. Her most recent theatre credit is for directing Mamma Mia! and Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. Her most recent acting credits are The Gin Game and Steel Magnolias.
Created with support from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, the Amy Ferguson Institute, the Nelson Civic Theatre Artist in Residence Program, and the Canada Council for the Arts, Beyond the Legal Limit is a unique project developed entirely during the Covid-19 crisis.