Upstream Artists’ Collective is a group of interdisciplinary artists making theater with an environmental conscience, seeking to reexamine what it means to be human on a global scale. Upstream develops new work via conventional and devised processes, and reimagines existing work with an eco-arts aesthetic.
Upstream makes theater about moments when the power goes out—when humanity is gathered around a fire, reduced and heightened to our core essentials. We want to reexamine our place on a now massive, unknown planet. Taking our name from William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s The Upcycle, Upstream seeks to enrich the lives of those we effect downstream—our artistic community and audiences—by providing challenging, inspiring, and provocative live theater.
Upstream believes that a play should be sustainable, beginning as disparate seedlings and constantly developing and redeveloping for a new audience and place. It is to have no end point—discarded like trash—but rather strengthened toward production and dispersed for new life. Sustainability and plays are not single use.
Upstream believes theater is fleeting and fragile. Like life itself, theater dangles on the precipice. No single performance can exist again and we aim to make each action, each artist, each moment a vital part of a balance of ephemeral and concrete.
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