R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE

written by D.W. Jacobs

from the life, work, and writings of R. Buckminster Fuller

performed by David Novak

Use of the name, likeness, and words of R. Buckminster Fuller

is by arrangement with the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller.

Learn more at https://www.buckminsterfuller.net/

2 Acts/2 Hours

With toothpicks, chalkboard, an overhead projector and other simple materials, Bucky lectures once again in his famous meandering discourse across Life, Love, Nature and the possibility of Universe.


Written by D.W. Jacobs in 2000, over a 5 year period, from 1995 to 2000, has since had over 1000 performances in San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Ventura, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Asheville, Montreal, Washington, DC (Arena Stage), and Cambridge, MA (ART). The role of Buckminster Fuller has been played by Ron Campbell, Joe Spano, Tom Keys, Rick Foucheux and Thomas Derrah. David Novak took on the title role in 2012. In 2015 Mr. Novak performed the play at the Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland.

Emulating the “thinking out loud” style of R. Buckminster Fuller, this performance is adaptable to lecture halls as well as large and small stages.


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D. W. JACOBS is a playwright, director, actor, teacher and producer. He co-founded San Diego Repertory Theatre with Sam Woodhouse and served as Artistic Director for twenty years. He resigned to focus on writing his play, R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE.  He lives in Los Angeles, where he founded a new theater/video company called TEATRO ARROYO // Theater Stream.

DAVID NOVAK is a leading American  storyteller and actor. Mr. Novak has performed as R. Buckminster Fuller at the National Storytelling Festival, The Black Mountain College Museum, North Carolina Stage Company, and Wroclaw University of Technology in Wroclaw, Poland.

Fuller first piqued his interest when he was 15. The Apollo mission had landed men on the moon and the entire world now saw itself from space. For years, Buckminster Fuller said “we are all passengers on a beautifully designed spaceship – Earth” and he was right!

Taking on the role of Bucky is now part of David’s repertoire of folktales, ancient myths and original works.

Awarded the Circle of Excellence from the National Storytelling Network, his storytelling programs have appeared at the Lincoln Center, The Disney Institute, The Cincinnati Playhouse, Provincetown Playhouse, and the North Carolina Stage Company. Internationally he has toured China, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic.

Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science

Graphic by Mark Hanff

A Family Friendly workshop is available with the performance.

The Human Geometry of R. Buckminster Fuller.
A hands-on workshop exploring our place in the world.

R. Buckminster Fuller (“Bucky”) was an epic thinker. His insights continue to inform and resonate with us today. He is best known as the designer of the geodesic dome, which he developed while on the faculty of Black Mountain College, 1948-49. His ingenuity extended into the realm of discourse as well. Bucky was a poet and creator of words. He was famous for his impromptu lectures that could last for days.
There is a storytelling tradition which extends back to the Greek rhapsodes. The word rhapsode references the art of weaving, rhaptein, inasmuch as the rhapsode is a weaver of poetic works and words. Aided by D. W. Jacobs’ weaving of Bucky’s brilliant words,  this performance is a rhapsody on this epic individual.

“David’s portrayal of my father is the most accurate and sensitive interpretation I have ever seen,” said Bucky’s daughter, Allegra Fuller Snyder, after seeing the play.

Geodesic Dome

Bucky's famous design encloses the greatest amount of volume with the least amount of material.

Graphic by Mark Hanff