Pat Henman (BA'81)
The confidence to move in other directions
“From my first week in class...I knew [Theatre at Dal] was so right for me. I felt at home.
“I’ve always been considered a ‘do-er’,” says DalTheatre alum Pat Henman, calling from her office at Selkirk College in Nelson, B.C.
Pat (BA’81) was a driving force for the Department of Theatre Reunion in 2011, which celebrated the department and marked the 40th anniversary of the Dalhousie Arts Centre.
Originally from Waverley, N.S., she came to Dalhousie for the acting program through a scholarship from Canadian Veterans Affairs. Tentative at first, she soon found her feet. “From my first week in class with [instructor] Angela D’Ambrosia, I knew this was so right for me. I felt at home.”
Over the next three years, her classmates became her soulmates and she “fell in love” with her instructors. David Overton became a mentor after graduation when Pat, along with a small group of classmates, formed Another Theatre Company (ATC).
“We did shows no one else was doing. We took risks and we gave ourselves amazing opportunities.” She says this experience gave her confidence to move in other directions – TV and radio – and counts her blessings for this opportunity.
A toast to the theatre
Performing may not be Pat’s day job anymore, but that doesn’t mean she’s stopped.
Recently, she starred on stage in Into the Woods and alongside Jessica Biel in the 2011 thriller The Tall Man. She is a longtime volunteer drama/voice coach/director at her three childrens’ schools. And she is producing a solo CD to be released this year, which she describes as “funk and blues with a Motown feel.”
Her 30-year career has taken her across Canada but she will never forget Dalhousie or the foundation it gave her, personally and professionally. For her, 40 years of Dalhousie Theatre is worth a toast.
(Adapted from DalNews, “Theatre reunion puts spotlight on Arts Centre’s 40th anniversary" by Krista Armstrong, Sept. 14, 2011)