Marketplace Storytelling

By Limor Shiponi

A young man walked into the crowd carrying a laundrey basket. Aware of the curious looks about him, he took his time, placed the basket on a table and pulled out an apron. He tied the apron around his waist and then looked at the people around him and said “My mother had seven children but she never talked to any of us, nor did she speak to our father. The only one she spoke to was (here he pointed a finger up to the sky) and she spoke to him when she folded the laundrey.” From there he went on telling a story about his family demonstraiting some of the subtext through folding the laundrey he carried in the basket. Another woman pulled our attention with a miserable presentation in archaic language followed by drawing a dagger which was part of the story she was telling. Another came in singing, accompanied with a bunch of wooden hens that served as a percussion instrument, another with an old soda maker and a cup – pouring stories for her self to tell. We witnesed a treasure of creativity from the 22 participants in a three day intensive titeled “Marketplace Storytelling.” The inspiration came from this photo taken in Morroco –

at the marketplace in Marakesh. The intensive is part of a series named “The Lab” by The Story Telling Company Inc, where we explore various issues connected to storytelling. How do you let go the possibility of everyone in the maketplace listening to you? how do you start a session in the midst of a crowd? what are necessary bounderies? how do you rest when you are so available to others? what stories fit the scenary? what about props, music and puppets? how do you perform when there are people standing behind you? what about the surrounding noise? those were only some of the question we were exploring. The outcome was a rich brocade of abilities and human interaction, ways to connect and say goodbye. And ofcourse – stories and the kind of telling that can silence parts of a crowded marketplace.

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