Pat Henman's Civic Theatre Artist Residency Experience

Pat Henman
November 20, 2020
Pat is a veteran of the Canadian theatre and the recording arts industry. She is also one of our Resident Artists.

I am one month into being part of the Civic Theatre Artist-in-Residency program in Nelson, BC. I did not know the other three participants involved at all. We differ in ages, me being the oldest. I love being part of an arts collective. I have participated in similar cohorts when I was administrator for the Nelson and District Arts Council (NDAC). You had to shift gears all the time, learn about what makes each artist tick, how they came to the decisions they did when it came to the work they created. My knowledge of art form outside theatre bloomed in every direction during the close-to-six years I worked for NDAC. There are all kinds of cohorts, and I look forward to where this one leads. This residency has allowed me to meet three artists outside of my world as an actress, director and writer but my work is connected to their art. Film, spoken word and storytelling are deeply connected to my work as a theatre artist, we just get to the goal along a different path. Really we are all storytellers. That is our commonality and I am excited to collaborate with them, even if it is as a sounding board, a mentor or someone who can provide an introduction. We all need each other. What is the residency offering me? The same as what I hope to offer the other three participants. I see this blog as a tool I can use to share my progress and keep my own creativity moving forward. Putting thoughts on paper always seems to push me closer to my objective. The Civic will be a place I can call a refuge for my team to meet in a safe manner during this time of uncertainty of future performances and audience gatherings. Their stage is large and allows my small team to develop and rehearse safely for my project which is the adaptation of my memoir, Beyond the Legal Limit, for stage with narrative and music. The next three months are instrumental to the development for me. The piece is currently in a stage of written material being workshopped, and after each work session we go back to the drawing board. It is the exciting time in a creative process where you see magic begin to spark, and hear power in the words and music. The material is put into the universe and it comes back at you either as truth, and you know it, or it just misses the mark, telling you it wants more attention. This is the best part of the process—next to sharing it as a creative team for an audience.

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