Upstream Downtown – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

After being evicted from their watery dwellings, Sojo and Beagle must play their very best “human” to survive in a world dominated by suits (not scales) – all the while searching for home, food, room (or reproductive!) mates, and a bit of multispecies’ love. Hiccups along the way include: a swim out of the water, a hook in the mouth, a pregnancy, and four cans of chatty salmon. A research-based, physical theatre play about salmon and humans finding home in Toronto. It loves humanity. It hates humanity. It’s fishy.

Salmon are often found on our dinner plates, but are not too often swimming around our minds asking philosophical questions about home, reproductive rights, settler-Indigenous relations, feminism, and interspecies narratives. What can salmon tell us about domestic, public, and watery spaces? Salmon also have a remarkable connection to place, using homing abilities to find their way back to their native streams and rivers. As two female artists of European ancestry, living as settlers on Indigenous land, we are interested in how to address the complexity of ‘home’ when our access is predicated on the history of colonial/patriarchal violence. How can a multispecies lens (say, a salmon-humans lens) challenge and influence traditional modes of theatre performance and creation, and habitual modes of thinking? How do we go forward? For two salmon-human amalgamates who are just as complexed about these big questions as any of us, the future is fish.


  • Upstream Downtown plays at the St. Vladimir Institute. (620 Spadina Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Sexual content.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route. After the building’s business hours, a staff member will need to escort you through this route, so plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early for evening shows.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.


  • Friday July 6th, 6:45 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 1:45 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 3:30 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 1:00 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 7:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 11:00 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 4:30 pm