box officenews & reviewsnow showingcoming attractionssocial directorback stagechit chat cafe`theater venuestheater offices

.....In San Francisco

Recent Press Releases

The Dome

.....In Seattle
.....In Chicago

Join us for other
Coming Attractions
Project Artaud Theatre

Need more ?
Go Backstage for more info on the Bucky show

What else has Foghouse been doing? Go to our Production History page.






















Thank You Darling People.

Winner of Circle Critics Award for Best Solo Performance
Ron Campbell as R. Buckminster Fuller

"Emotionally full, inspiring and invigorating...Staged with painstaking intelligence. The remarkable RonCampbell gives a heroic performance."
- LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

"A spiritual and philosophical journey, fueled by an unusual mix of personal passion and intellectual rigor. Campbell gives a fervent, funny, heart-wrenchingly poignant andimpeccably detailed performance."
- Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"An exhilarating ride! A complex and beautifully woven tapestry o fFuller's life and work."
- Kohlenberg, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"A brainstretching evening full of rich, provocative details. Theatrical thoughtful and highly entertaining. It will boggle your mind in the best possible way."
- Jones, Oakland Tribune

"A brand-new concept in theater and well worth seeing."
- Friedman, KGO Radio

"As startlingly funny as it isintellectually stimulating, and asgenuinely moving on a personal levelas in its hopes and fears fix the futureof our planet. An exciting synergy ofcompelling performance andenergizing intelligence."
- Hurwltt, San Francisco Examiner

"An engaging and invigorating evening of theatrical mind candy.
- Jones, Chicago Tribune

"SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Caution, this play contains IDEAS!"
- Smith, San Diego Reader

"D.W. Jacobs' two-hour play (which he also directed) is a lecture-drama that interweaves the story of Fuller's life with a startlingly funny, intellectually stimulating and moving exposition of his theories, themes and epiphanies. In Campbell's unforgettable portrayal, he's a thinker of dazzling dexterity who can juggle concepts like a magician and balance an insight on the wisp of a metaphor." -- Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle. Capsule review.

Having a Ball in Fuller's Universe
Campbell is remarkable in Buckminster

"Though its title might make one brace for an arid and abstract evening, the show is emotionally full and not at all dry. It's inspiring and invigorating...The role calls for a heroic performance, and it gets one from the remarkable Ron Campbell...It's hard to imagine a better one-man performance." -- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, July 15, 2000
Read full review

Other Current Stories and Articles

"If the meek do, indeed, inherit the earth, one can only hope they'll follow the lead of R. Buckminster Fuller." Contra Costa Times

"Theater that thinks outside the dome," Oakland Tribune

"Building a geodesic dome, Bucky's history and mystery," SF Chronicle

.....What the critics are saying In San Francisco

Pondering the 'Universe'
Actor Ron Campbell lets expansive ideas get under his skin as he plays the polymath R. Buckminster Fuller

"This Fuller ``History'' goes well beyond the chummy, audience-pleasing impersonations of many one-man shows based on historical figures. As he travels through Fuller's achievements and failures, personal history and private demons, the actor creates a richly layered character who is neither Fuller nor Campbell but a fusion of the two."

Steven Winn
San Francisco Chronicle, October 11, 2000
Read full article

Solo show depicts "Bucky" the scientist
and the philosopher

"It's as startlingly funny as it is intellectually stimulating, and as genuinely moving on a personal level as in its hopes and fears for the future of our planet, famously envisioned by Fuller as Spaceship Earth."

"The ideas alone are exhilarating...but so is the personal drama....What's inescapable is the exciting synergy of compelling performance and energizing intelligence."

Robert Hurwitt
San Francisco Examiner, July 13, 2000
Read full article

Dazzling new play gives Buckminster Fuller his theatrical due

"Campbell's Fuller is someone you're excited to spend time with. This is a man so fired up by his ideas, so touched with the brilliance of expansive, all-embracing thought that you want to run right out and absorb everything you possibly can about Fuller and his work."

"A surprisingly hot ticket - last Saturday's performance was full to bursting - ``The History (and Mystery) of the Universe" is theatrical, thoughtful and highly entertaining. The play will boggle your mind, but in the best possible way."

Chad Jones
Oakland Tribune, July 18, 2000
Read full review

Something new and fascinating in the world of theater

"Something new, unusual, and fascinating in the world of entertainment opened at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre - It's "R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE" - a one-man dynamic performance by Ron Campbell, one of the finest actors I've ever seen. Portraying the late Buckminster Fuller, he welcomes you to his classroom for a lecture on his expertise as an inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, environmentalist, scientist - a genius. And it becomes one of the most enjoyable lectures you'll ever witness. It's educational, it's inspiring, it's startling, but most of all entertaining and filled with humor. It's a brand new concept in theater, and well worth seeing."

Jerry Friedman
KGO Radio, July 13, 2000

Play's simple design conveys span of Fuller's wit, wisdom

"Long before Disney and AOL co-opted such Fuller-isms as ``synergy,'' this innovator whose archives are at the Stanford University Library dared to delve into ideas of substance, to look at possibilities rather than barriers. And through the sweet theatrical rendering that is "History,'' the possibility of ideas is as vibrant as ever."

Mark De La Vina
San Jose Mercury News
August 8, 2000

One Man Play Captures Brilliant Mind

"Provocative, informative and thoroughly engaging ...featuring a brilliant performance by Ron Campbell in the title role...Romantic, idealistic, deeply spiritual and profoundly humanistic, [Fuller] was simply one of the great minds of his era. Spending a few hours in his presence makes for an unforgettable evening of theater."

Georgia Rowe
Contra Costa Times, July 15, 2000

Dome luck
R. Buckminster Fuller struggles to make drama of its subject.

"...beyond the brain-tickling appeal of integrities and synergies lies a fascinating personality, a magician of mind-bending ideas who hides, Magritte-like, in the bourgeois guise of a bank clerk. Actor Ron Campbell is a superb incarnation, gaining electricity just as Fuller did from his rapt audiences and nailing his model's playful staccato rhythms."

Brad Rosenstein
San Francisco Bay Guardian
July 19, 2000
Read Full Review

Bucky Explains
Buckminster Fuller was brilliant, amusing, and kooky

"This current Bucky-incarnation is a sort of West Coast tribute to Fuller by his disciples, with a road-show atmosphere lent by various attendant science forums and symposia; but it's also, God be praised, a solid piece of theater. "

Michael Moore
SF Weekly
July 26, 2000
Read full review

"Campbell does a tour-de-force recreation of a Fuller talk, one that is - like the man - physical, metaphysical, intellectual, eclectic, challenging, and hugely entertaining."

Don Braunagel
Los Angeles Times
, March 2000

"Surgeon General's Warning:
Caution. THIS PLAY,
about the life and thought of Bucky Fuller, American genius, CONTAINS IDEAS."

Jeff Smith, San Diego Reader

THE SCENE: Building a geodesic dome
Bucky's history and mystery

Jesse Hamlin
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
©2002 San Francisco Chronicle

John Converse was standing on a scaffold in the cavernous lobby at Project Artaud Theater the other day, popping a wood strut between the flanges of a star-shaped steel connector and bolting it in.

"It's a piece of cake," said Converse, who was helping build a geodesic dome at the San Francisco theater, where the acclaimed one-man play "R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe" opens tonight.

The Milpitas engineer joined 23 other Bucky-minded, dome-loving volunteers - - among them a stockbroker, a massage therapist, a cinematographer, a bookkeeper and an organic farmer -- to put up the 26-by-19-foot sphere composed of isosceles triangles of varying sizes.

Fuller, of course, was the visionary inventor, scientist and social philosopher who advocated creating "more with less" to sustain life on "Spaceship Earth." His most famous creation is the ingeniously simple geodesic dome, a strong, light structure in which stress is spread across the entire form (he saw the triangle as the most stable shape).

"It's an aerodynamically perfect creation. This will take 200-plus mile-an- hour winds," said Converse, 49, whose girlfriend, Fran Doddroe, a bookkeeper, also participated in what the play's associate director, Rich Baker, called "a kind of Amish barn-raising." The couple plans to build a retirement dome on an island yet to be determined.

This one, with its color-coordinated, prefab parts, was designed and donated by Timberline Geodesics of Berkeley. It's made with 165 struts, variously marked in red, blue, yellow and green, and 61 similarly coded steel connectors. Working from a how-to manual, the congenial crew put it up in just four hours.

"It's really foolproof, unless you're colorblind," said Timberline President Bob Singer, talking amid the buzz of drills, the whir of a genie lift and the occasional shout of "Watch below! He's got a screwdriver."

Singer, whose firm made Dr. Evil's moon dome for the movie "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," describes the dome as a remarkably strong, energy- efficient structure, as well as "a very comforting shape. It's the combination of not looking at sharp angles, and being enveloped in a nice spherical enclosure."

Jaime Snyder has made many such spheres, including a number with his grandfather, Buckminster Fuller. He watched with pleasure as this one went up.

"Most of us have watched people building houses, but it takes weeks and they're experts," said Snyder, co-founder of the Buckminster Fuller Institute. "For a few people to get together and in the course of an afternoon put up this beautiful, strong structure is quite uplifting."

Robert Boudreaux was doing his share of lifting. He stood on a ladder bolting triangles as the dome rose higher and higher. A Fuller fan who wants to build his own dome, he was struck by the simplicity of the design and the social implications of building these low-cost structures (this one would cost about $10,000).

"You talk about the homeless problem, man, you got it solved right here," said Boudreaux, a San Francisco cinematographer who was happy to gain this invaluable experience. "And I get free tickets (to the play). How can you lose? The spirit of Buckminster Fuller will be hovering around the theater."

Which is exactly what the producers had in mind. "This just brings Bucky and the energy and his ideas to life," said producer Jeff Rowlings.

San Carlos massage therapist Sheridan Thomas saw the play when it opened in San Francisco two years ago and fell under Bucky's sway. She dug the egalitarian vibe of this endeavor.

"It's nice to be in an environment where there are no labels or tags on anyone," said Thomas, who was mesmerized as a kid by pictures of Disney's geo- domed Epcot Center. "It doesn't matter who you are -- black, white, money, no money. We're just hanging out, having a good time and putting up a dome."

Dazzling new play gives Buckminster Fuller his theatrical due

By Chad Jones
Oakland Tribune

July 18, 2000

[Full text of review from Oakland Tribune (review not archived on-line)]

If necessity is the mother of invention, then R. Buckminster Fuller, Bucky to his friends, is the first cousin of invention and a whole lot more. But to call Fuller simply an inventor does not do justice to this incredibly v ersatile and thoughtful man, a man whom Marshall McLuhan described as "a modern day Leonardo da Vinci.''

Sure, Fuller obtained 25 patents for things ranging from the Dymaxion map (a f lat global map that depicts all of the continents without distortion) to a sel f-sustaining house to a board game, but Fuller was also a philosopher, mathema tician, architect, engineer, poet and cosmologist. He's also the man who invented the geodesic dome (a lightweight, strong and co st-effective structure made from self-bracing triangles) and coined the phrase ``Spaceship Earth.''

All this from a man who, after being kicked out of Harvard twice, didn't even have a college degree. If Fuller's name doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone in your ignorance. Thou gh widely respected as a thinker, writer and lecturer, Fuller, who died in 198 3 at age 88, never achieved the widespread acclaim he deserved.

That's one of the reasons that the new play ``R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe'' is such a treat. Writer/director D.W. Jacobs brings Fuller to the stage of San Francisco's Lorraine Hansberry Theatre for 2 [1/2] hours of insightful discourse on everything under, around and above the sun.

Based on the life, work and writings of Fuller, this one-man play throws out s ome big ideas such as Fuller's passion called ``Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science,'' which he describes as "doing more and more with less and less.'' Like he does with just about everything he explains over the course of the show, Fuller, played with great brio by Ron Campbell, never simplifies to the point of patronizing of the audience. But he does get us to understand, which is a major accomplishment for a group of people who don't usually go to the theat er to learn something.

Whether he's filling us in on biographical details like the painful loss of hi s 3-year-old daughter or explaining the wondrous strength and simplicity of triangles, Campbell's Fuller is someone you're excited to spend time with. This is a man so fired up by his ideas, so touched with the brilliance of expansive , all-embracing thought that you want to run right out and absorb everything y ou possibly can about Fuller and his work (and isn't it helpful that the Buckm inster Fuller Institute is selling books videos and triangle-based puzzles in the lobby?) The idea of attending a play that requires active use of the brain is a daunti ng one, but Jacobs and Campbell make it easier on us by wrapping all of Fuller 's world-saving ideas in a nifty theatrical package.

The play premiered at the San Diego Repertory Theatre last spring, and local p roducers at had the smarts to bring it north with the entire production intact. Annie Smart's set is dominated by a hexagonal platform and a giant video scree n across the back of the stage. In addition to offering photographs of Fuller and his family, the video portion of the show - the dazzling work of videographer Dave Cannon - also shows footage of Fuller's inventions such as the way-ah ead-of-its-time Dymaxion car as well as more artistic visions of moving clouds , rippling water and exploding atomic bombs. The only element of the show that doesn't really work is Luis Perez's original music. Perez's sound design, with its beating hearts and ticking clocks, is just fine, but the music is distracting and unnecessary. Scored like a movie, the music usually comes in just as Fuller begins to get emotional or when he starts on a really big idea like how to end global hunger. Campbell's dynamic performance as Fuller expands and contracts so beautifully that the music becomes redundant and rather annoying. The stage, with its scribbled-on blackboard and cluttered worktable, can't contain Fuller's enthusiasm. When he gets really excited, he comes right out into the audience and sniffs people, or claps people on the back. At one point, he even has audience members stand up with their left arms stretched west and tri es to convince them that they can feel the sunset.

Actually, Fuller insists that there's no such thing as a sunset since the sun isn't moving and we are. He also insists there's no such thing as up or down, but that's a whole other story. A surprisingly hot ticket - last Saturday's performance was full to bursting - "The History (and Mystery) of the Universe'' is theatrical, thoughtful and highly entertaining. The play will boggle your mind, but in the best possible way.

A Fuller understanding of things
Solo show depicts "Bucky" the scientist and the philosopher

By Robert Hurwitt
Examiner Theater Critic, San Francisco Examiner
July 13, 2000

The pauses are like temporary obstructions in an onrushing stream. As portrayed by the mesmerizing Ron Campbell, R. Buckminster Fuller was an inexhaustible fountainhead of ideas, a thinker - profound and humane - of dazzling dexterity and a lecturer who can juggle concepts like a magician, balance an insight on the wisp of an metaphor and hold an audience spellbound for more than two ours of heady discourse.

"R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe," written and directed by D.W. Jacobs, is astonishing for the density of its ideas and the amount of theatrical riches it derives from them. It's as startlingly funny as it is intellectually stimulating, and as genuinely moving on a personal level as in its hopes and fears for the future of our planet, famously envisioned by Fuller as Spaceship Earth.

Jacobs' lecture-drama - written for Campbell and based on Fuller's life and writings - was a hit in its premier this spring at San Diego Repertory Theatre, where Jacobs was artistic director from 1976 to '97. It opened Wednesday at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in a slightly modified form (with the same creative team) for its first commercial run, produced by

The ideas alone are exhilarating, delving into the fundamental structures of an atom and the universe with the eye of a designer, the heart of a humanitarian and the hands-on creativity of a particularly inventive engineer. But so is the personal drama. Fuller was well known for using autobiography in his lecture, and Jacobs skillfully waves the visionary scientist-inventor-philosopher's life into his presentation.

Every aspect of Jacobs' production reflects this mix, from the tables in the lobby - offering Fuller books, videos, toys and information about ongoing global projects - to the forums presented between each Sunday matinee and evening performance (this Sunday's forum features Fuller's daughter, Allegra Fuller Snyder, and grandson, Jamie Snyder, co-founders of the Buckminster Fuller Institute in Sebastopol).

Annie Smart's attractively geometric set balances a table of Fuller models and blackboard covered with scrawled diagrams against such personal artifacts as an old phonograph cabinet and a Shaker chair. A vivid mix of biographical stills, historical news-reel footage and interpretative video images (by Dave Cannon and Bay Package Productions) is projected on a large rear screen, playing off the surf and whale songs, jazz tunes and evocative original music in composer Luis Perez's sound design.

Campbell lurches onstage with peculiarly awkward grace, a tall, gangly figure in a black three-piece suit (the "invisible man," "bank clerk" outfit he adopted so that people would pay less attention to how he looked than what he had to say). His face seems focused in intense, inquiring eyes framed within large spectacles, eyes that blink in wondering altered perception whenever he removes his glasses.

He begins with an impossibly prolonged pause, looking out over the audience, gathering his thoughts. He drops a few coins, observes them, then launches into observations on gravity that - within a few head-spinning moments - have taken us to the notions that "You and I seem to be verbs," that people are "patterns," that technology has advanced to the point where we can produce enough food and other necessities so economically that "selfishness is unnecessary and war is obsolete."

Campbell lurches from one idea to the next as if his ideas are percolating too fast for sustained development. But that impression is as illusory as the physical awkwardness that conceals extraordinary mimetic grace. When he speaks of rowing a boat, his body recreates the experience with wondrous economy of gesture. An invisible length of rope materializes in the precise movements of his hands as he demonstrates a key principle - that just as a slipknot moves along the changing length of the rope, maintaining its identity, we retain our "pattern integrity" despite all the food and air that passes through us and the complete, periodic replacement of all our physical cells.

In two hour-long acts that pass astonishingly fast, Campbell plunges us into a whirlwind of Fuller's ideas and inventions: His discover of the triangle as the basic solid structure and how that relates to the atom, the cosmos and the development of the geodesic dome; the essential concept of synergy in science and society; a history of civilization as prolonged battle for economic domination between "great pirates" and the need to move beyond that to share the resources that can support us all.

Interwoven with the4 ideas is the story of Bucky Fuller himself, from the cross-eyed 4-year old whose perception of the world was completely altered when he got glasses to the youth kicked out of Harvard (twice), his service in the Navy in World War I, his long, loving marriage, the shattering death of his first child, the religious epiphany that made him dedicate his life to serving humanity as best he could.

There are touching vignettes, from his awestruck meeting with Albert Einstein to is fervid prayers to "God the eternal integrity," the affecting poem written to his wife, an attempt to explain fire to a child ("Fire is the sun unwinding from the log") and some lovely segues into a tai chi waltz. There are songs, ranging from a heartfelt "Once in Love With Amy" to his own "Roam Home to a Dome" (to the tune of "Home, Home on the Range").

It isn't necessary that you agree with everything Campbell's Fuller propounds. His summing up of Malthus is simplistic and he badly misrepresents Darwin. What's inescapable is the exciting synergy of compelling performance and energizing intelligence. We have a choice, Fuller tells us, between working toward a worldwide utopia or continuing a dysfunctional competitive slide toward oblivion. As the Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" offers a sly closing commentary, Fuller exhorts us take control of our finite spaceship. "We are here strictly for problem solving," he reminds us. "Don't give up."

.....In Seattle

'R. Buckminster Fuller' an exhilarating ride

"A roller coaster for the brain"
"Compelling and evocative performance"

"Campbell's Fuller is a study in contrasts -- egotistical yet humble, a brilliant intellect with a childlike observatory delight, a scientist with a powerful belief in God. Campbell portrays Fuller as a man who holds humanity in sweet and tender regard, while still raging at our foibles."

"Jacobs, Campbell and the rest of the production crew have attempted to tangibly recapture one man's unique genius. That's no easy feat, and well worth the ride."

By Leah Kohlenberg
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 16, 2001
Read full review

Actor's zest reflects Bucky Fuller's energy

"Campbell's high-voltage performance pumps up even the slivers of complex ideas alluded to here. And he evokes Fuller's gadfly egocentricity and jaunty nerdiness, as well as his tender heart."

"Taller and decades younger than Fuller when he attained national prominence with his geodesic-dome design and other innovations, Campbell nonetheless embodies the intellectual zest and quirky personality of the man."

Misha Berson
Seattle Times, June 15, 2001

Read full review

Men of passion:
Playing with the emotions at Intiman
and Schmeater

"...Actor Ron Campbell...personifies the notion that "the universe is all energy" with an acute physicality that plays like an urgent dance. Jacobs takes Fuller's insistence that we must "fight and work and feel until we die" and literally sends it out into the audience with Campbell, who runs up and down the aisles in a passionate intellectual fervor."

Steve Wiecking
Seattle Weekly, June 28, 2001
Read full review

"take it from the top"

.....In Chicago

Buckminster Fuller's World
Enlightening and Engaging

"The great strength of "R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe," the adroit and intellectually fascinating new show just arrived at the Mercury Theatre, is that it boils down this brilliant, esoteric visionary into morsels that can be digested in a single setting."

"Fuller's exuberant ideas are dispensed via an engaging performance from Ron Campbell. This California-based actor brings an ersatz Fuller lecture to life with flawless delivery and startling vigor and panache."

"...this remains an engaging and invigorating evening of theatrical mind candy."

Chris Jones
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 13, 2001
Read full review

R. Buckminster Fuller: "Highly Recommended" by Sun-Times

"Campbell's fervent, funny, heart-wrenchingly poignant and impeccably detailed performance is driven by the quirky physicality of the one-man dynamo he embodies."

"As much a spiritual and philosophical journey as a crash course in everything from physics and 20th century technology to economics, sociology, education, design and poetry, the show's emotional arc is so powerful that its scientific elements, which are handled with tremendous sleight of hand, become surprisingly accessible."

Hedy Weiss
Chicago Sun-Times
, Feb 13, 2001
Read full review

It's Fuller Time

Interview with actor Ron Campbell.

Hedy Weiss
Chicago Sun-Times
Feb 8, 2001

Stage Tip

It's only the rare individual who is crazy or genius enough (or both) to buck the trends that guide our daily lives and envision a fuller human existence. The appropriately named R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was such a person. Luckily for us, the spirit of this philosopher (and one time Chicago resident-he lived right on Belmont near the lake) is alive and well. Thanks to playwright/director D.W. Jacobs and actor Ron Campbell, "Bucky's" energy, wit and brilliance is simply and eloquently laid out like an acid-laced picnic on a hot summer day. It's all about mind expansion, people. The inventor of the geodesic dome (think Epcot Center), Fuller spent much of his time on a logical plan to eliminate world hunger. His theories are ingenious but unworkable, since pesky traits like cynicism and outright greed always seem to win out. But it's damn fun contemplating his ideas-and you'll leave a smarter, more humane person at the end of the night.

Nina Metz
New City, Feb 14, 2001

Inventing the Future

"R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe" is easily the most intelligent, most insightful and interesting show currently running in Chicago."

"Performing in Fuller's trademark dark suit and tie, wearing the same square glasses Fuller preferred, Campbell seems every inch the inspired, quirky Fuller. When he gets excited, Campbell shakes the way Fuller shook, the ideas tumbling out of his mouth at a speed that cannot help but excite the audience."

Jack Helbig
Daily Herald, Feb 16, 2001
Read full review

Complex 'Bucky' Equals Simply Extraordinary Theater

"A stunning one-man show with an incredible tour de force performance by Ron Campnell, 'The History (and Mystery) of the Universe' is a thought-awakening, possible life-changing encounter with the concepts of this complex thinker."

"This is an extraordinary experience not to be missed."

Kathleen Tobin
The Beverly Review, February 21, 2001


"As exciting as an action thriller, as vital as documentary and as moving as a love story."
Liberty Suburban Chicago Newspapers

"take it from the top"


What they're saying about Foghouse

Foghouse noted for "Most Auspicious Debut" in 2000

The San Francisco Chronicle's Year 2000 summary of performing arts and theater named Foghouse as "Most Auspicious Debut" for our productions of "R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE'' and "Culture Clash Anthology."

Read article

"take it from the top"