success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended
on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?
R. Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE,
a new play by D. W. Jacobs, is an inspiring call to us all
we travelers on this "Spaceship Earth"
our act together and start THINKING
importantly, ACTING on our God-given potentials!
This is not
a play that plays on our guilt
this is not a play that talks
down to us and makes us feel stupid
this is two
hours of theatre that unabashedly compels us to think as one
and we love every minute of it! It is 120 minutes of eye-opening
poetry; the kind that leaves you breathless and wondering how
you've lived this long not thinking this openly.
is changing around us every day. So much is happening "out
there". The impacts of political, economic and religious
forces have become clearer to more people than ever before. I
see more people becoming more open to re-evaluating how they fit
in; how all this impacts them and how they can impact it. This
play... the words of this man... have never been more important
to our hearts and our minds.
You may think
I am exaggerating here, but I honestly am not. From the moment
I read the first script, I have been captured by this play, this
man, and this way of just thinking bigger. I watched audiences
in workshops and performances laugh, cry, and literally feel the
earth move. I have listened to audiences, often and in unison,
make that familiar guttural "ohhh" of understanding.
I have been a part of the best experiences one can have in the
theatre, as audience and artist. Listening to audiences respond
to this play, which was on Critics Best of 2000 lists in
San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, and nominated for Chicago's
Jefferson Awards for Best Performance and Best New Production
in will be among my proudest and most memorable theatre experiences.
The overwhelming critical praise, the buzz of Bucky-heads in the
lobby, the incredible word of mouth and the natural mental high
of audiences at intermission are a feast for those of us committed
to the live theatre.
to good fortune, timing and collaborations... we have the opportunity
to bring Bucky back to San Francisco where the commercial adventures
of this production began. Recently, Project Artaud Corporation
found themselves without a tenant (the company "Theater Artaud"
went belly-up) and without much foreseeable revenue generated
by the theater which occupies nearly a third of their complex.
Despite the obvious temptations to let the theater become the
next Starbucks or Walgreens... the Project remained resolved to
keep the performance space they founded some thirty years ago.
Together, Foghouse and Project Artaud crafted an arrangement that
would provide the Project the financial security and time necessary
to undergo the process of discovering and implementing a new theater
operation that will keep performance alive at Artaud well into
the future. For Foghouse, it gives us the opportunity to revive
a show that was hugely successful in it's first SF run. We also
believe the show will look, sound and feel the best it ever has.
Some of the
most exciting performances have occurred in the venue now called
"Project Artaud Theater". We are proud that our production
about Buckminster Fuller - a man who would be pleased with this
partnership - can be a positive force in this transition and play
a small part in keeping a valuable and vital performance space
alive. We hope you take the time to sign up on Artaud's mailing
list and support the future efforts at Project Artaud Theater.
The play was
workshopped and received its world premiere in Spring of 2000
at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. Doug Jacobs (Co-Founder and
long time Artistic Director at SDR), actor Ron Campbell, and a
talented team of designers crafted a piece of theatre that cuts
across all social, political, cultural and economic boundaries.
Bucky's daughter, Allegra; her film-maker husband, Robert Snyder;
and their son, Jaime, have been an instrumental part of the development
of this play. We are honored that they have been so supportive.
will share with you an amazing part of the experience of doing
R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE.
Over the past two years, I have come across an amazing number
of people who met, listened to, studied with, or simply read and
admired the works of Buckminster Fuller. I confess, I never really
knew much about Bucky or Bucky Balls. Sure, I knew about geodesic
domes (there was one near my home in Oakland that we drove by
all the time when I was growing up). I knew the Whole Earth Catalogue
but I knew little about Vector Flexors and Dymaxion maps, houses
or cars. On a recent vacation in Vancouver, I made sure to spend
time just hanging around the Science Museum which is housed in
a large geodesic dome on the waterfront. In fact, the energy of
the geodesic dome is so inspiring to me, I made sure we could
share it with you in the lobby of Project Artaud Theater, thanks
to the support of Timberline Geodesics. I have been truly surprised
by the number of people I knew and have met along the way who
had been inspired by Bucky in some way. I hope you will be inspired,
reinspired, or reaffirmed by R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY
(and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE.
The San Diego
Rep premiere shattered all box office records for a non-musical
in Rep history. Our San Francisco and Seattle runs enjoyed weeks
and weeks of sold out houses. The Mercury Theater in Chicago saw
the most repeat business for one show in the theater's history.
People returned three, four and five times to see the play. Why?
Because people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, economic situations,
and whatever other "preferences" one uses to separate
people today were moved to open themselves and think as one. See
this play. Talk about it. Get on the Buckminster Fuller Institute
mailing lists. Buy a book or video in the lobby. Be a problem
solver. Be a trimtab.
this play" is our answer to the question above. What's yours?
do you look for in an actor who must play "the P.R. Man
to the Universe"?
follows are excerpts of notes by Writer/Director D.W. Jacobs of
the kind of actor he sought to play this demanding and challenging
role. We believe that actor Ron Campbell more than meets this
challenge as he delights and inspires audiences with each performance.
by D.W. Jacobs
actor (probably 35 to 55, but with an air of being 1 to 80 years
old), in excellent physical condition, capable of memorizing two
hours of material. Bucky was an engineer, architect,
car designer, geometer, cartographer, inventor, poet, philosopher,
prophet, political theorist, historian, athlete, naval officer,
and lecturer who spoke 7000 words per minute during talks that
lasted from 2 ½ to 14 hours. He has been called a crank,
Americas first engineering saint, and the
P.R. Man to the Universe.
explores his life and work through performance I am
not a Noun. I am a Verb. The production blends testimony,
lecture, autobiography, poetry, comic antics, movement, song,
dance, lights, sound, and video imagery to reveal the seeds of
his ideas, their growth through experience, and the fruit born
from years of disciplined application to comprehensive physical
and metaphysical problem-solving. The show spirals through ideas
and experiences to send the audience out with their own lives
placed firmly back in their laps.
needs: the physical agility and dead-pan manner of Buster Keaton,
a clear, strong voice, the powerful hands of a machinist that
can grab ideas out of the air, a quick mind, and a game spirit.
Fuller loved to sing and dance he did both badly and often.
We dont want an impersonation of Fuller, but were
looking for someone with the dignified spine of a New England
Brahmin, the dry, aggressive humor of fast-talking Americans who
spent their early years in factories, football games and speak-easies,
and who can suddenly display the introversion and concentration
of a monk or artist. Fullers voice was part Elmer Fudd,
and part JFK A Massachusetts Yankee in Uncle Sams
Corporate Kingdom he worked diligently to find a way
to leverage us out of muddled misconceptions and obsolete information.
We are looking
for an actor to embody Fullers Actions, to play the Verb
that was Buckminster Fuller. Fuller was distinctly American, perhaps
an embodiment of the best we have to offer. We need an actor who
has a feel for: 1) the pragmatic idealism of 19th century America,
where Fuller was born, 2) the discontinuity and experimentation
of the 20th World, where he lived and worked, and 3) the longings
and fears that surround our visions of Spaceship Earth in the
21st century, where he pointed to a possible promised land by
drafting out his anticipatory visions. Like an Old
Testament Prophet, he had a powerful sense of the meaning of history,
the manifestations of vision, and the apocalypse that comes when
the rich neglect the poor. We need an actor capable of bearing
testimony disarmingly simple scientific, philosophical and
spiritual testimony laced with inadvertent humor, innocent
goofiness, and dead-earnest appeals to the audience to live up
to their own truths and integrates.
it from the top"