Morgan Johnson and Alexandra Simpson as two salmon in Upstream Downtown. Animacy Theatre Collective in co-production with Common Boots Theatre. Created and Performed by Morgan Johnson and Alexandra Simpson. Directed by Martha Ross.

Upstream Downtown

Animacy Theatre Collective in co-production with Common Boots Theatre

Created and performed by Morgan Johnson and Alexandra Simpson

Directed by Martha Ross

Music Composition by Anders Azzopardi

Stage Management by Noa Katz

Percussion by Stefan Hegeratz

Poster Design by Madeleine Tuer

Photography by Kathryn Hanson


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.

Toronto Festival of Clowns | May 31 – June 3 (15 minutes)

Triple Bill featuring: Upstream Downtown, Mr. Eff Comes Around and Miss Vega’s Pussy

The Commons, 587A College St, Toronto, ON
Thursday, May 31, 7pm
Saturday, June 2nd, 6:30pm
Sunday, June 3rd, 2pm 


Toronto Fringe Festival | July 4 – 15 (60 minutes) 

St. Vladimir Theatre, 620 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON

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

Ticket information coming soon!

Created with the support of Celebration Barn Theatre Show Incubation Residency and Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators.


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.