‘Sea Change’: Moving, intellectual performance at BIG ARTS
Thursday, March 29, 2007
By MARSHA WAGNER, Center Stage
BIG ARTS OnStage presented a most classy, interesting, intelligent mixed program recently titled “Sea Change: Reversing the Tide.” The performance piece juxtaposes a vast knowledge of environmental science with prose read by author, marine biologist, scientist, environmentalist and founder of The Ocean Alliance, Roger Payne, and links it to the wisdom of poetry performed by author and actress extraordinaire, Lisa Harrow.
Payne, with 40 years experience in marine biology, is best known for his discovery (along with Chatququa’s former president, Scott McVay) of the songs that the humpback whales sing. HIs publications include the book, “Among Whales” and three recordings — “Songs of the Humpback Whale,” “Deep Voices” and “Whales Alive.” He has appeared in over 40 TV documentaries, several of which he wrote and/or presented and he also co-wrote and co-directed the IMAX film “Whales.” One of his National Geographic articles contained a record of whale sounds for which 10.5 million copies were printed — still the largest single order in the history of the recording industry.
Lisa Harrow, the acting half of this married duo, started her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company performing with such luminaries as Judy Dench and other leading lights of that signature outfit. She’s performed in movies — one, in particular, teaming with Glenda Jackson — plus numerous BBC and American TV productions. And, if that weren’t enough, Lisa is an author of the environmental handbook, What Can I Do? published in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
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Ocean Alliance celebrates successful mission
By Tom Szekely
April 13, 2006
The room lights dimmed, and internationally acclaimed actress Lisa Harrow described an endless sky filled with stars.
Harrow told of the Ocean Alliance’s ship, the Odyssey, far away in some deep ocean, one where "great, gentle cloud-like beings [were] drifting with currents too slow to sense."
Magically the hotel ballroom filled with the melodic songs of these giants. People closed their eyes and dreamed of these huge whales, peacefully cruising the depths of our planet’s watery highways, as Roger Payne added, "they can grow as large as 150 tons and live for 200 years, giving them the longest memory stored by any sophisticated brain on the planet."
What was once a dream for the Ocean Alliance has become a reality, as supporters gathered on April 6 to celebrate the successful completion of a five-year mission to monitor the world’s oceans. The Charles Hotel in Cambridge hosted the gala for the Odyssey’s return with its vast collection of data from the world’s oceans: Data that will help create the first comprehensive study of worldwide persistent organic pollutants. The achievement by the nonprofit is something never previously attempted and was thought by some to be beyond their capabilities.
Payne said they did it because "no major organization was doing it." Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, said, "When we set off to do it people were polite about it, but nobody thought we would be able to do it."
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