Through the Bamboo: Toronto’s Fringe Festival features children’s play highlighting Philippine folklore and western classic tale

TORONTO — A smash hit from this year’s Fringe Festival is Through the Bamboo, a family-friendly, adventure-packed play about a girl who lost her grandma and traversed a magical world called Uwi to bring her Lola back home.

It’s a story of grief and loss, depicting Philippine mythology and inspired by the playwrights’ personal experiences.

“We wanted to create a big epic, but grounded in something that was really real for what we were going through at that time which was a loss in our family. We’re hearing all of these stories about our homeland but we also grew up with tales like alice in wonderland and so this play is sort of a mishmash of the themes that come along with all of those big adventure quests mixed in with this folklore and mythical tales,” said Andrea Mapili & Byron Abalos, the playwrights.

“We hope that seeing faces that look like their Lola and Lolo, Titas and Titos, and their Kuyas and their Ates onstage makes them proud to be Filipino and know that their stories are powerful and worth telling.”

The multi-generational cast did everything including set changes and sound effects. For them, it’s like an invitation to play every single performance.

The creators of Through the Bamboo hope that the younger Fil-Can generation will take an interest in their families’ stories and talk to their grandparents, before it’s too late.

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