Join Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist Spica Wobbe in the world of shadow play, when participants will learn how to design and construct a simple shadow puppet and stage, and tell their family version of a moon story.
What can be better than using the ancient Chinese Art form– shadow puppetry, to celebrate the Moon Festival?
With its bold shapes, vivid colors, and dramatic movement, it is a perfect tool for storytelling. During the workshop, participants will design and make a shadow stage of their own. They will then learn how to use simple paper cut out, joints and control rods to create their shadow puppets. As a team, they will bring their puppets to life on their shadow stage with movement, dialogue and music to tell a story about the moon.
Spica Wobbe (Shu-yun Cheng) is a puppetry artist from Taiwan. Her work has been seen in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Holland, Germany, Israel, Austria and the U.S. Based in NYC, she works as a puppetry designer, performer, and educator.
She tells all about what audiences can expect at the event.
I started to get involved with shadow puppetry when I worked with Chinese Theater Works in 2001. I learned how to use modern techniques to perform traditional Chinese shadow puppets from them. The experience was very inspiring. In order to learn more about shadow theater, I traveled to Indonesia, Nederland and Germany to take workshops from shadow puppetry masters and I truly fell in love with the art form. I established Double Image Theater Lab in 2011 to create cross-cultural productions that explore the world of the past and the present and using shadow, light, and music to tell stories.
What is a shadow puppet?
Thousands of years ago, before any other styles of puppets were created people were using shadows to tell stories all around the world. As long as there is a light, you can create shadows. Everyone has the experience of playing hand shadows under the sun or in front of a lamp. Besides using our own hands, we can also use objects or flat articulated cut-out figures which are held between a source of light and a screen for storytelling.
How do shadow puppets bring these stories to life?
Shadow Theater became my favorite art form because its nature of abstraction offers the audience multiple layers of space for imagination. A shadow puppet is not complete until it’s shown in the light. By changing the distance or the angle of the puppet, the size and the look of the shadow will change as well, this creates a wonderful effect and is great for storytelling.
At the Mid-Autumn Moon Shadow Play workshop on September 22, participants will design and make a shadow stage of their own. They will then learn how to use simple paper cut out, joints and control rods to create their shadow puppets. As a team, they will bring their puppets to life on their shadow stage with movement, dialogue, and music to tell a story about the moon.
What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?
I have been working with Flushing Town Hall since 2009 as a teaching artist. My shows were part of the Shadow Puppet Slam at Flushing Town Hall twice. Since 2017, my partner Karen Oughtred and I have worked together with Flushing Town Hall for the SU-CSASA creative aging program. I love working with Flushing Town Hall and feel honored to be part of this multicultural big family.