Lisa Harrow | Roger Payne

Lisa Harrow was born in New Zealand. In 1966 she was awarded a scholarship from the N.Z. Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council to study acting abroad, and was accepted by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Upon leaving RADA she was invited to audition for the Shakespeare Company and in her first season with them played Olivia in Twelfth Night (opposite Judi Dench). Other roles with the RSC included Desdemona in Othello, Anne Bullen in Henry VIII, Portia in Merchant Of Venice, (opposite Patrick Stewart), and Lady Amaranth in Wild Oats (opposite Alan Howard). Other English theatrical highlights include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (opposite John Hurt), Eliza in Pygmalion, The Queen in The Eagle has Two Heads (directed by Susannah York), and Anne Whitfield in Man and Superman opposite Peter O’Toole.

Her film career started in Rome, playing opposite Glenda Jackson in The Tempter for which she won the Variety Club’s Most Promising Newcomer award. She saved the world by killing Damien in The Final Conflict (Omen III), and played Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small and It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet. Gillian Armstrong’s film, The Last Days of Chez Nous earned Lisa an Australian Oscar for Best Actress. In 1997 her film Sunday (opposite David Suchet), won The Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Lisa for Best Actress.

Lisa’s many TV credits include starring roles in Sense of Guilt, The Strawberry Tree, Inspector Morse, and Come In Spinner. She played Nancy Astor in the PBS/BBC series of the same name and the title role in Lizzies’ Pictures. Act of Betrayal cast her opposite Elliot Gould. Playing Shakespeare (popularly known as the John Barton tapes), introduced her to countless drama students in colleges all over America. In Kavanagh QC on PBS she plays opposite John Thaw, and her most recent miniseries, Jessica, made in Australia won the award for Best Miniseries at the 40th Chicago Film Festival.

In 1997 Lisa moved from London to Vermont with her husband, whale-biologist Roger Payne, and her son Tim (by actor Sam Neill). Her theatrical work since then has included: Vivian Bearing in Wit (New York, Vermont’s Northern Stage, and the Pittsburgh Public Theater); Celia in The Late Middle Classes at the Williamstown Theatre Festival; Anna in Old Times at the George St Playhouse; Margaret in The Last True Believer at the Seattle Rep; Medea in Medea at the Pittsburgh Public Theater (for which she won the Performer of the Year award); Margrethe in Copenhagen at Santa Fe Stages; Kate Keller in All My Sons at both Northern Stage and the Chautauqua Theatre; Elizabeth I in Mary Stuart at the Pittsburgh Public Theater; Raynevskya in two productions of The Cherry Orchard (Yale Repertory Company, and the Chautauqua Theatre); and Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter (Northern Stage in Vermont).

Lisa’s and Roger’s shared environmental interests have led to the creation of SeaChange: Reversing the Tide, a performance piece that uses science and poetry to urge us all to make sustainable living our primary goal. Lisa is also the author of the environmental handbook What Can I Do?, separate editions of which have been published in the US, Australia New Zealand and the UK.

whale photo by  Rolf Hicker.  |  SeaChange is a project of Ocean Alliance
logo, print, video and website crafted by CHANGE

Please click here to view excerpts from a performance of SeaChange: Reversing the Tide.
Please click here for the latest data about climate change – and what experts are saying it means for the Earth – and its inhabitants.

Please click here to book a performance and download the press kit, poster, program and other support material.
Please click here to learn more about Lisa Harrow’s book What Can I Do? An Alphabet for Living and its companion website.