Fran Hazelton talked about the Babylon
creation myth known as Enuma elish…
that she was preparing for a storytelling performance at the
June Peters demonstrated the process of
storyboarding. This is a technique for holding a story in your
head so you can tell it as an oral storyteller. June told the
Sumerian story known as The Marriage of Martu. Then
workshop participants told her what happens in the story, the
events. They pieced the story together in a group discussion.
On a large sheet of paper, divided into six
segments, June then sketched the story’s opening and closing
events. She drew simple, cartoon-like images of a city with
ploughed fields and the faraway wild open country where people
live in tents. She drew stick people for the city’s king and his
beautiful daughter. The story ends with the princess telling her
girlfriend she will marry Martu, the nomad who won her heart and
her father’s consent when he became the champion wrestler at a
festival in the city.
In twos and threes the workshop participants
then discussed what happens in The Marriage of Martu
between the first and last events. They discussed the sequence
of events, what happens in each event and how one event leads to
another. They drew their own sets of images for the second,
third, fourth and fifth segments of the storyboard.
June then put these missing segments on the
large sheet of paper and The Marriage of Martu appeared
as six memorable sets of images from which the whole story could
be told. As they say in the newspaper business: a picture is
worth a thousand words!
June then sang the English folk ballad known as
She’s gone with the raggle-taggle gypsies oh! This story,
like The Marriage of Martu, is about the love between a
high-born lady and a man outside the settled, rule-bound society
she belongs to.