Play of Life®

About the Chairs

About the Chairs

The two chairs placed in a 45o angle represent a meeting of two people sharing intimacy and relational freedom. They are part of an original logo that had two parts, a stage and the chairs.

The stage represents the “stage of life” where we live. Aboriginal artist Bronwyn Bancroft developed this original design in 1991. It depicts:

The two chairs represent two people in the relationship who can openly communicate with each other and have the freedom to expand their thinking, beliefs, and interests without the other person feeling rejected. This is what Martin Buber calls I and Thou relationships. This is the goal of Active Learning International.

This sitting differs from two people sitting one in front of the other that can represent intimacy and confrontation. When in intimacy, the two are enjoying closeness and togetherness. Simultaneously, both share the same thinking or beliefs. But if one ventures into new horizons, desires to expand his/her paradigms or starts to question this way of thinking, the other may feel threatened or rejected. The rupture of the relationship is often sudden with feelings of anger, resentment and pain. This way of relating is very common and frequently why partnerships, including business, familial, marital and friendships, end, and we see each party go their separate ways. It’s also prevalent in politics and religion. It’s what Martin Buber calls I and I relationships.

Other types of relationships are represented by two chairs side by side. The focus is outside, like watching a movie in a theatre. Communication is rare between the two, and they live parallel lives.

And two chairs back to back represents mutual disconnection, ignoring one another.

The chairs also represent the symbol of the Argentinean School of Psychodrama created by Jaime Rojas-Bermudez. The chairs on the stage symbolise the curtain closed on the theatre stage. When the chairs are taken from the stage, the curtains are open, and the action starts.