Memoir, Non-Fiction, Acting, Storytelling, Drawing, Mixed Media
Adult Day Care, After School Program, College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, K-12 Schools, Library, Senior Center
Spica Wobbe (Shu-yun Cheng) is a puppetry artist originally from Taiwan. Her work has been seen in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Holland, Germany, Israel, Austria and the U.S. Now based in NYC, she works as a puppetry designer, performer and educator since she received her M.A. in Educational Theater from New York University in 2003. She established Double Image Theater Lab in 2011 to create cross-cultural productions that explore the world of the past and the present. Spica received the Exemplary Teaching Artist Award from New York University in 2014. She is a 2 time recipient of a Jim Henson Foundation grant and is a 2015 Sandglass Theater New Vision Series Resident Artist.
Spica was in Creative Aging Training Institute by Creative Center at the University Settlement in 2015 and was also in the Lifetime Arts Creative Aging Mentorship Program in 2016. Spica is a 2017 SU-CASA grant and LMCC Creative Learning grant recipient for working with older adults. Her current program “The Memory Project” focuses on using theater, puppetry, visual arts and literature to stimulate seniors’ senses, imagination and creativity, while supporting their growth as artists. You can learn more about her work at http://www.doubleimagetheaterlab.com and about “The Memory Project” at https://www.facebook.com/thememoryproject.storytelling
I fell in love with puppetry while working at a children’s theater in Taiwan. A unique art form mixed with visual art, performing art, literature and the basic ingredient of all arts -- imagination. That is why I believe that everyone can find a piece of puppetry in his or her heart, no mater how old you are.
The reason I started my journey of working with older adults is very personal. My mom was a self-taught painter in Taiwan. She didn’t start painting until she was 65. Most of her paintings are about her childhood memories, which recorded a lot of Taiwanese history, folk art and customs. She also wrote stories for her paintings and loved to tell stories to people who came to see her exhibit. The excitement and enthusiasm came from both her and the audience often touched me deeply. After she passed, the National Museum of Taiwan History collected more then 200 of her paintings. I witnessed how art changed her life and how her art changed other people’s lives as well. By listening to the stories told to me by my mom, I realized their historical significance, the need to maintain them, the connection they established between generations and the sheer joy in the telling and receiving them.
So I decided to work with older adults and hope to bring them joy of recalling their childhood memories and pass on their legacy though storytelling with puppetry.