Endgame: The Game

Post-It Note 1: You are at the bathroom sink, getting ready for the day. One of you is moving extremely slowly, the other is moving extremely fast.

Post-It Note 2: One of you is packing a suitcase. One of you is unpacking the same suitcase at the same time.

Post-It Note 3: You are taking a walk together. One of you can move in straight lines, the other can only move in curvy patterns.

Post-It Note 4: You are building a treehouse together. One of you keeps dropping things, and the other is scared of something above you.

Post-It Note 5: You are drawing circles on the ground. One of you is using your finger, the other is using anything but your finger.

Post-It Note 6: You are a clock. One of you is making ticking noises, the other is moving their arms in a clockwise pattern.

Post-It Note 7: You are a human and a dog on a walk, having a conversation. The dog can talk, but the human can only make barking noises.

Post-It Note 8: You are making sandwiches. One of you keeps getting your head stuck on things. For the other person, things keep floating away.

Post-It Note 9 (for three students): You are playing a card game. One of you has one arm. One of you has no arms. One of you has shoes for hands.

In my first class (13 students), the notes that ended up being drawn, at random, were 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, and I gave the trio note number 9.  In my second class (10 students), the notes that ended up being drawn, again at random, were 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 (poor note 7 never got drawn). In my first class, the highlights were the two who drew note 1, who happened to be a pair of girls. It is quite interesting to watch two girls get ready at varying speeds, with one slowly brushing her teeth and the other fiddling madly with her hair; the two guys who drew note 2 were folding and unfolding imaginary clothes; the girls who drew note 5 got around it by using a pen (kind of against the rules, but whatever); and the three guys who drew note 9, because everything is hilarious with limited arms and shoe hands. Class #2’s highlights were the guy/girl pair who drew note 8, with the guy rubbing his head all over the desk; and the guy/girl pair who drew note 5, where the guy ended up spinning around on his bottom.

Probably one of the best parts of the exercise were the reactions. People started to really enjoy playing, and watching their classmates do seemingly random things. One student in my first class likened the activity to a sense of chaos, but a strangely satisfying chaos. For me, other than having the power to command, it was really interesting to see how seriously people took it. I mean, unlike the characters in Endgame, no one was forced to obey any of the rules, yet somehow everyone chose to stay in the universe; ostensibly, someone could have broken a rule, or refused to participate, or just gotten up and walked out of the room or sat back down in a seat. Everyone seemed to do what they were told to do, without any real reason, which is one of the foundational tenets of the Theater of the Absurd. Overall, I think that the students got a lot more out of absurdism by acting it out on their feet.

Advertisements

One thought on “Endgame: The Game

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s