News / Toronto

One-woman show chronicles Gillian Clark's recovery after being hit by a car

“This play is a way of finding control in a situation that was so out of control," says the Halifax playwright.

Halifax-based theatre artist Gillian Clark’s one-woman show Let’s Try This Standing is about her recovery after being hit by an SUV in 2010. She’ll be performing the play in Toronto on Monday.

Courtesy Keep Good Theatre/Mel Hattie

Halifax-based theatre artist Gillian Clark’s one-woman show Let’s Try This Standing is about her recovery after being hit by an SUV in 2010. She’ll be performing the play in Toronto on Monday.

Gillian Clark hasn’t been asked about her scars in a long time, but that changed when she got to Toronto.

“The other day I was getting off my bike and this guy was standing behind me and was like, ‘Oh, looks like you got in a nasty accident,’” she said.

The observer was right. In 2010, Clark was hit by an SUV and pinned to a brick wall in downtown Halifax. The collision broke her femur and pelvis and severed her femoral artery.

Now a professional theatre artist, 25-year-old Clark has written a one-woman show based on her experience. Let’s Try This Standing recalls the crash, her long recovery and the impact it had on her life and psyche.

She’ll be performing the show Monday night to a sold-out crowd at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille.

Clark says the act of writing and acting in the play has helped her process the trauma of a life-changing car crash.

“I still struggle with a lot of things about my accident,” she said. “This play is a way of finding control in a situation that was so out of control.”

Clark says she found that control by telling her story on stage. In fact, she says her memories of the crash have now become memories of the show.

She still wrestles with trauma – like when strangers ask about her scars – but has learned to acknowledge, and even celebrate, what happened to her.

“For the most part when I’m performing the show it’s just joy,” she said.

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