#ThroughTheBamboo: World Premiere Production

$3,800 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 54 people in 3 months

“There is a place. A place of islands and crystal blue waters. Where steep, silvery, jagged rocks plunge into the sea. Where the forest roots are filled with wisdom and branches carry stories to every shore. Where the warm air smells of sweet mangos, and the creatures and humans live in harmony, basking together in the golden-orange light.”

This is the land of Uwi.

And you can help bring this magical place to life by supporting the upcoming world premiere production of Through the Bamboo, by Andrea Mapili and Byron Abalos, at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival.


When Philly’s Lola (grandma) dies, she finds herself in the fantastical land of Uwi. Will she be able to end the reign of the Three Sisters, find her Lola and bring her back home?

Through the Bamboo is a 75-minute fantasy adventure play for young people and families inspired by Philippine mythology. It’s an action-packed adventure about the value of storytelling, and how families deal with loss. A Filipinx-Canadian tale you’ve never heard before, told in the tradition of The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland.

Suitable for kids 7+, grandparents and families.


We wrote this play for a number of reasons:

— We wanted to write an epic story inspired by the Philippines and Philippine mythology.
— We wanted to write a story to help young people understand grieving.
— We wanted to honour our grandparents.
— Representation matters and we wanted to write a play for young audiences and families that would performed by an all-Filipinx or all-Asian cast.
— We wanted to write a play with lots of strong female characters.
— We wanted to inspire children to be more curious about their elders and family members.

If you believe some or all of those reasons are important, and that theatre can affect real change, we invite you to support the production by donating to our BAMBOO Fundraising Campaign.


Our stretch goal is to raise $5,000 between May 1st and June 1st (from the first day of Asian Heritage Month to the first day of Philippine Heritage Month in Canada). We have raised $1,500 of that amount from individual donors through other platforms so this GoFundMe campaign has a target of raising $3,500.

Funds raised from this campaign will support the production of Through the Bamboo at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival from July 3-14. More specifically, your donation will be used to purchase set, costume and props, and to hire professional artists and designers.

As an added incentive, we have a group of donors who have pledged to match donations up to $2,000. That means that for every dollar you donate, we’ll receive two dollars. Every dollar counts and the impact of your donation will be doubled.

We will recognize your support on our website  under the following giving levels and thank each donor via social media:

Seed Supporters ($5-$49) 
Root Supporters ($50-$99)
Stem Supporters ($100-$199)
Branch Supporters ($200-$499) 
Tree Supporters ($500-$999)
Forest Supporters ($1,000+)

If you are not in a position to donate at this time, we hope you’ll buy a ticket to the show and bring a young person in your life or a grandparent. Our hope is that another company will pick up the show to present it again as part of their season. Selling out shows will help us show presenters that there’s an audience that is hungry for diverse, unique stories like ours.

If you’d like to stay connected, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for visiting this page and for considering supporting our play.

We hope you’ll join us on this fantastic adventure!


Andrea Mapili and Byron Abalos


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Hello and thank you again for donating to support our world premiere production of THROUGH THE BAMBOO at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival!

We are delighted to share that our show was one of the most successful shows of the festival this year. On Friday night, we won Patron's Pick for our venue, which goes to the show that sells the most tickets in its first week. As part of our award, we have an additional show tonight at 9:45pm (after our noon matinee) to end our run at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival.

Over the past 11 days, 1,400 people saw our production, and the show received standing ovations at every performance. We performed to a 91% capacity house over the course of our run - an exceptional rate - and our audiences were filled with children and grandparents alike. So many people and families from the Filipinx-Canadian community came out to support the show and several people saw the show multiple times.

Yesterday, Carolyn Fe who plays Lola in the show, posted a story about how she was at lunch and saw children (from a non-Filipino family that she didn't know) re-enact scenes from the play with their toys. This is why representation matters.

Our show received great pre-show coverage and universal rave reviews. You can read some of them here:

Toronto Star preview on #FilipinxFringe:

NOW Magazine Review:

Mooney on Theatre Review:

Istvan Dugalin Review:

Throughout the run, we've invited many presenters from other theatre companies. Our hope is that this isn't the end of THROUGH THE BAMBOO and that a company decides to program it as part of an upcoming season.

On a personal note, Baby Mapili-Abalos is due in 12 days and we're looking forward to wrapping up this iteration of THROUGH THE BAMBOO and focusing on the coming birth and baby. It has been such a wonderful gift to surround our baby with creativity, joy and laughter during rehearsals and the run of the show.

Thank you again for helping us make this possible! We are so moved by your generosity.


Byron and Andrea
Uwi Collective
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Tonight is opening night for THROUGH THE BAMBOO at the Toronto Fringe Festival!!! And it wouldn't have been possible without your generous support.

Thank you for believing in us and in our play. In two days, Andrea will be 37 weeks pregnant, so it seems that the universe has aligned for both our "art baby" and "real baby" to reach full term at the same time.

We have received donations from near and far and if you are in the Greater Toronto Area, we hope you'll come and see what your investment in us has yielded. Tonight's show is at 8:15PM and then we have six other performances. You can see those dates and purchase your tickets at https://fringetoronto.com/fringe/show/through-bamboo

If you are out of town, we will carry your spirit with us throughout the run of the show. And hopefully, the play will have another life beyond the Fringe.

You can also check out this lovely preview from the Toronto Star about the exciting Filipinx content in this year's festival: https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/opinion/2019/07/02/this-years-toronto-fringe-festival-has-a-filipino-flavour.html?fbclid=IwAR3OsviY98FsMyQoHKbKR4-2N_aqM_lvDQ9BMuU3qZyhF0qyj-latvzhBUU

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. In this moment, our lives are so full with creativity. Thank you for believing in us.


Byron and Andrea
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Thanks to your support, we surpassed our BAMBOO Fundraising Campaign goal. We originally set out to raise $4,000 and finished with $5,000! These funds will help support production costs such as props, costumes, rehearsal space and artist fees. Thank you for helping us bring THROUGH THE BAMBOO to the stage at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival!

Here are some other updates we'd like to share with you:

1. Yesterday, we had our final day of auditions. We saw a lot of great up and coming FIlipinx talent and we'll be making a casting announcement soon!

2. Tickets for THROUGH THE BAMBOO go on sale this Thursday, June 6 at https://fringetoronto.com/fringe/plan-your-festival/tickets-pass-info.

3. If you'd like to stay in touch and hear the latest updates, please follow us on Facebook (as Through the Bamboo), Instagram (@ThroughBamboo), and Twitter (@ThroughBamboo).

4. You can always visit our website at throughthebamboo.ca or email throughbamboo@gmail.com if you have any questions.

We start rehearsals next week on June 11! Here's a photo of our first Design Jam with playwright/producer/choreographer Andrea Mapili, Sound Designer Maddie Bautista, Lighting Designer Michelle Ramsay, and Director/Dramaturge Nina Lee Aquino.

We hope to see you at the theatre. We can't wait to share this show with you.

Thank you and maraming salamat!


Byron & Andrea
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$3,800 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 54 people in 3 months
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