My first exposure to this company was as an audience member. The aspect about the performance that stood out to me the most was how it truly made me think about my opinions about the world and how I view people. I knew I wanted to become involved because I believe the type of theatre being done here can make an impact on society rather than simply entertain it. Having worked on one production since I have found the staff to be professional and courteous while still focused on their mission.
As an audience member of Upstream, I’ve left each of three of Upstream’s performances keenly impressed by the quality, power and refreshing perspective of the script, the talent of the actors and high standards of the production values. Each production was carefully and caringly directed; the performances both nuanced and demonstrative. The venue setting – the black box at the Kranzberg Center – is intimate and attractive. Upstream is already a high point in the burgeoning St. Louis theater scene.
Philip Boehm, Upstream's director, helped me develop my play, The Polish Egg Man, from very rough draft to production at Upstream. His warmth, care, dedication, and sensitive and generous imagination have been a great gift. Upstream's commitment to developing new work -- and to bringing international work to American audiences -- is unusual among regional theaters, and probably unique among regional theaters of its size. I returned to St. Louis to see another Upstream Production, The Concert/El Concierto. It was moving, funny, and finely crafted. There's a (growing) community of Upstream supporters and collaborators in St. Louis and elsewhere -- all of whom are passionate about the work the theater does and seriously loyal to its mission. I'm glad to be a member of that community.
Upstream Theater es la mejor compania profesional de teatro independiente en St. Louis, Missouri. Pero esto no solo lo digo yo, sino tambien la clasificacion del periodico River Front Times, que ha clasificado a Upstream Theater como la mejor compania de teatro de St. Louis. Hace 22 anios que vivo en St. Louis, pero originalmente soy de Argentina, por lo que me complace enormemente que Upstream se haya creado con la mision de poner en escena teatro internacional, en una ciudad poco caracterizada por presentar obras de teatro de otra extraccion que no sea la anglosajona. En epocas como la contemporanea, en donde estamos globalmente comunicados y en la que celebramos la diversidad, Upstream ha traido un aire fresco a nuestra ciudad, desafiando al espectador a pensar criticamente sobre temas profundos, que nos conciernen a todos como seres humanos, presentados en una estetica sumamente creativa y original, y basada en una depurada convencion teatral, en puestas que conmueven y sorprenden. Upstream saca al espectador de su lugar de confort, para otorgarle una esperiencia estetica profunda, que se lleva a casa y permanece con el no solo en la emocion, sino en el planteo critico y filosofico que le provoca y que debe elaborar. De esta forma, Upstream no solo abre la puerta del mundo del treatro internacional en St. Louis, sino que tambien promueve en el espcetador una apertura mental internacional, intelectual, filosofica, emocional y estetica poco experimentada a nivel teatral por estos lares. Cada puesta de Upstream es un desafio a todo nivel, y un enriquecimiento para el alma.
From the outset we have been consulted and helped whenever possible. Upstream has chosen magnificent plays and actors. It offers theater not available in St. Louis. We have not missed a play, taken students and friends to its offerings, and want it to thrive for many years. The director is a model of talent and probity.
As a New Yorker with a background in theater, I am wonderfully surprised by the variety of the productions Upstream has staged. They have brought a true international perspective to St. Louis theater. Coming from a variety of countries and experiences, the plays have provided valuable insights into other cultures and reflected those ideas upon our habits and beliefs. With limited resources, Upstream productions always shine with quality performances. Next time in St. Louis, I will be in the audience.
As a retired Episcopal priest (former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral) I view theater as potentially prophetic and the two plays I have seen at Upstream fit that bill. Woyzeck opened up the whole issue of the depersonalization of this moment in history. And Berlin/Wall also explored the divisions among cultures and nations of our time. Each play was spledidly written, directed, and acted. Upstream is taking on challenging material and mounting it with great skill. The Very Reverend Dr. J. C. Michael Allen
As a professional actor for 20+ years, I have had the wonderful privilege to work at many, many professional Theatres, and with many, many Theatre Artists. Without question, Upstream Theatre is truly one of the finest. The designers, the stage managers, the actors, the directors, the dramaturges, the technicians - all that I’ve worked with at Upstream are among the finest Theatre Artists I’ve known. The passion that these amazing people bring to create compelling, challenging Theatre is beyond inspiring. That collaboration and passion is what makes Upstream Theatre so unique, so powerful, and so wonderful. Simply put, Upstream Theatre is the epitome of what Theatre should be.
I discovered Upstream a couple of years ago and have not missed a show since. As a local theatre professional it is difficult for me to find companies that peak my interest. I see the same shows or types of shows over and over. Upstream produces different and very thought provoking plays on a level that no other company can. They draw in some amazing actors and designers to create the highest level of quality in their shows. I highly recommend that everyone experience at least one of their productions. They will have you hooked and keep you coming back.
I attended three recent Upstream Theater performances, Woyzak, Helga's Night and Berlin/Wall. I found each one challenging and very different from the others. Upstream has chosen to produce plays that stretch the mind. Woyzak was staged in a theater in the round with three separate focal points on the stage. Helga's Night was presented in a more traditional box space. Berlin/Wall was a reading, yet it made excellent use of a theatrical space. Acting has been excellent in every performance. St. Louis audiences have responded well to Upstream Theater.
What a great company of Actors, Directors and Designers and staff. Wonderful thought provocing shows and performances! Nice to have such a great theatre company in this town
I have seen several of Upstream Theater's recent productions including Woyzeck, Berlin/Wall and The Double Bass. Drawn to their offerings by this unique repertory, I was very impressed by their creative stagings and skillful performances. The fact that Upstream Theater is attracting so much attention from within the St. Louis theater community demonstrates critical praise at its most authentic.
The productions I have seen from Upstream Theater have been deeply thought provoking, excellently directed and produced, and visually rich and beautiful. I think the vision of artistic director Philip Boehm to produce plays from different cultural experiences stands out in an otherwise bleak theatrical landscape in St. Louis. I have enjoyed tremendously all the productions I have seen.
With a PhD in theater history, professional membership in Actors' Equity, and as a St. Louis Kevin Kline Awards judge, I came to Upstream Theater for involvement. This is the company I wanted to work for. In 2009 Upstream was nominated best small professional STL theater company by RFT mag; it is well deserved. Upstream always provides innovative, first-rate producations with excellent direction, design, and acting. Upstream is dedicated to bringing an international perspective to STL theater and collaborating with diverse communities.