Arena Stage presents D.W. Jacobs’ R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE.
By Julie LaPorte
Exploring the life and writings of one of the 20th century’s most amazing innovators, R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE stars Rick Foucheux. Written and directed by D. W. Jacobs, the show is playing at Arena Stage in Crystal City through July 4.
Philosopher, mathematician, inventor, design scientist, father of the green movement – R. Buckminster Fuller was truly a remarkable man, and this play provides an expansive look at his life. However, it’s much more than simply a personal history. It’s also an exploration into the history and mystery of the universe and a query into whether an individual can have an effect on an entire planet.
Rick Foucheux is brilliant as the intellectually stimulating Fuller, delivering his lines in this one-man show as though he were lecturing a class, making use of sound, lighting, photographs, video and props in innovative ways. He carried us through Fuller’s life from childhood to old age, charming us all with his passion, emotional depth and idealism.
While the play explores serious themes – within Fuller’s life as well as the challenges facing the planet – the overall tone of the work is hopeful and joyous. “Man was designed by nature to be an overwhelming success,” he tells us, throwing his arms open wide and beaming. “Humanity is here for problem solving.”
The play is Arena’s final one away from home, opening next season in their newly renovated performing arts complex at 6th and Maine in Southeast D.C. The return marks the beginning of another chapter in the theatre, one of the most innovative and distinguished theatres in the area.
“It makes sense for Arena to celebrate R. Buckminster Fuller, a kindred spirit in innovation,” said Artistic Director Molly Smith. “‘Bucky,’ as we affectionately refer to him, is one of the biggest thinkers of the 20th century. He was in his 30s when he embarked on a mission to discover what one person can contribute to the benefit of the entire world. From that point on, he was never still. Bucky developed groundbreaking ideas about structural design and transportation, published scores of books, worked as an architect, tirelessly recorded his life, and was green long, long before it was chic.”
For more information and tickets, visit Arena Stage.