July 7, The History (and Mystery) of the Universe will end. At Seattle's Intiman, at least, where California's Ron Campbell has been bringing R. Buckminster Fuller — or Bucky, as he was known — to life with in the solo show, R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe. Conceived, adapted and directed by San Diego Repertory Theatre artistic director D. W. Jacobs, this one-man show opened June 13 after beginning previews June 8.
R. Buckminster Fuller may have been one of the greatest innovators of the 20th Century. Born cross-eyed and kicked out of Harvard twice (once for partying with New York chorus girls), Fuller excited and angered intellectuals, architects and designers with his various ideas, including the Dymaxion House (1927) and Dymaxion Car (1933). The latter, for example, had three wheels, seated 11 and made a remarkable 30 miles to the gallon. In 1948, while serving as a professor of architecture, he created the Geodesic Dome, chosen as the design for the United States Pavillon at Expo '67 in Montreal, where it still stands. In his latter years, Fuller mostly lectured, taking his message that science and technology would save humankind around the world.
Jacobs used Fuller's writings and lectures with support from the thinker's family to craft a representation of his main ideas and his life. R. Buckminster Fuller made its world premiere at San Diego Rep March 4, 2000, before traveling on to San Francisco, where it ran successfully twice. After Chicago, the solo show moves on to Seattle.
Campbell is familiar to much of California for his London Fringe and L.A. Drama Critics Award-winning one-man show, The Thousandth Night, about a prisoner struggling to survive in 1943's Occupied France by entertaining a group of gendarmes with Scheherazade's "Arabian Nights" acted out for their amusement. He is also a founding member of The Actor's Gang.
The design team for R. Buckminster Fuller includes Annie Smart (sets), David Lee Cuthbert (lighting), Dave Cannon (videographer) and Darla Cash (costumes). Tickets are $42-$10. The Intiman Theatre is located in the Seattle Center at 201 Mercer St. For reservation information, call (206) 269-1900. The Intiman Theatre is on the web at http://www.intiman.org. R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (And Mystery) of the Universe is on the web at http://www.foghouse.com.
— By Christine Ehren