Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

San Diego Rep to Welcome Return of 'R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER' This Spring

One of San Diego REPertory Theatre's most acclaimed productions, R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER: THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY) OF THE UNIVERSE returns to the Lyceum Stage after 16 years. Written and directed by D.W. Jacobs, co-founder of San Diego REPertory Theatre, and performed by Ron Campbell, previews begin March 10, 2016. Opening night is on Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. and runs through Sunday, April 3 on the Lyceum Stage.

This extraordinary theatrical event invites you to recognize your place as a crew member on "Spaceship Earth" as it speeds through the Universe. Your "captain" is Buckminster Fuller (Bucky), one of the most remarkable thinkers in American history. The show will surprise, astonish, bring laughter and tears of insight and may just cause you to never think the same way again!

A grandfather of the green movement, Bucky invites us into his life and mind, while also leading us into the uniqueness of our own hearts and minds, urging us to join what he called the World Game, a participatory framework for saving our planet. Called "the Leonardo da Vinci of Our Time" and "PR Man to the Universe," Fuller was an engineer, architect, poet, futurist, inventor and one of the first truly global thinkers. With the world desperate for climactic (and climatic) solutions, Bucky makes it clear that Spaceship Earth is in danger, and it needs you, now more than ever.

"The ideas in this play were incubated at The REP, perhaps long before I had the idea for the play itself. The REP always aspired to put the world onstage. This play works at putting the Universe onstage," said D.W. Jacobs, co-founder, San Diego REPertory Theatre. "After the world premiere at The REP in 2000, the play grew to be like a space capsule, taking Bucky's ideas on a long trajectory out and away from The REP, to San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Montreal (in French), Ventura, Portland, District of Columbia, Cambridge, Mass., Atlanta, and even to Asheville and Carbondale (both places where Bucky developed and taught his key ideas), and recently to Wroc?aw, Poland (in English with Polish subtitles.) Now, after 15 years, we're circling back to San Diego in an odd, almost planetary conjunction with The REP's 40th Anniversary Season. There is some kind of orbital magic in this return to The REP."

R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER: THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY) OF THE UNIVERSE was developed and received its world premiere at San Diego REPertory Theatre on March 31, 2000, and was a giant hit. The production features the brilliant Ron Campbell ("A Tale of Two Cities," "The Merchant of Venice," "Shylock," "The True History of Coca Cola in Mexico," and R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER: THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY) OF THE UNIVERSE), a lead clown for Cirque du Soleil and a leading classical actor on the national stage. An Associate Artist at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Campbell received The Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, training with various international companies in Greece, Italy and Japan with an emphasis on Mask Work while also touring for Cirque du Soleil playing the "King of the Clowns" in "Kooza."

"Over these last fifteen years I have had the marvelous opportunity of having perhaps ten new awakenings, starting in San Diego, as I have viewed performances of this wonderful work, always surprised at the subtle differences, always renewed by the marvelous insights into my father and his thinking/doing process, which each time becomes more important than the time before," said Allegra Fuller Snyder, daughter of R. Buckminster Fuller.

"When Doug Jacobs came to Allegra and me in 1997, it was hard to imagine that a play could be done of my grandfather that would faithfully convey the essence of his work; never could I have dreamed that audiences would actually have a real life experience of what being with Bucky was truly like," said Jaime Snyder, the grandson of R. Buckminster Fuller. "I will always remember so many of my family members coming to me at the opening: looking at me to say -- 'it's really him!' Reflecting that over 150,000 people have seen the show, and through the play, Bucky can continue to speak live to audiences around the world, during what he called 'Earthians' critical moment' is very good news indeed."

D. W. Jacobs is a playwright, director, actor and producer. In 1968, in a year filled with demonstrations, riots and assassinations, Jacobs saw Bucky speak at the College of Creative Studies at the invitation of his brother, Steve. In 1976, Jacobs co-founded San Diego REPertory Theatre with Sam Woodhouse, and served as Artistic Director for 20 years. At San Diego REPertory Theatre, they created an interdisciplinary arts complex, presented multicultural work, and nurtured surprisingly diverse audiences. In 1997, Jacobs resigned to focus more of his time on writing R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER: THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY) OF THE UNIVERSE drawn from the life, work and writings of R. Buckminster Fuller. It had its World Premiere at San Diego Repertory Theatre on March 31, 2000. Directed by the author, this play has had almost 1,000 performances around the U.S., and in Canada and Poland. Foghouse Productions ran the play in San Francisco for 15 months, and also in Chicago and Seattle. It was recently produced at San Jose Rep, Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.) and the American Repertory Theater (Harvard University). It will return to San Diego Rep in 2016 as a cornerstone of their 40th Anniversary Season. Jacobs has taught the design principles of playmaking for Playwrights Foundation, Synergetics Collaborative/RISD, and the Fuller Future Festival in Carbondale. He has twice lectured on Fuller's character, creativity and concepts of sustainability at the Wroc?aw University of Technology, Poland. As playwright/director, he's grateful that so many talented actors have taken on the role of Bucky - Ron Campbell, Joe Spano, Doug Tompos, Rick Foucheux, Jean Boilard, Thomas Derrah, and David Novak. In 2014, Jacobs tackled the role himself, and he has performed it in Carbondale, Illinois, and in his Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park. Jacobs recently co-founded a new company there, TEATRO ARROYO // Theater Stream, working in association with the Arroyo Arts Collective. He serves on the board of the Lummis Day Community Foundation. In 2016, Jacobs will perform the role of Bucky in a dome designed by Fuller and Shoji Sadao for the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability, at SIU, Edwardsville.

The creative team also includes David Lee Cuthbert (Scenic and Lighting Designer), Darla Cash (Costume Designer), Luis Perez Ixoneztli (Composer and Sound Designer), Jim Findlay (Projections), Chandra R.M. Anthenill (Stage Manager), and Al Irvine (Original Science Advisor and Dramaturge).

Single tickets are now on sale and begin at $33. Student tickets for $20 are also available for all performances. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 619-544-1000 or by visiting the box office at 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101.

R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER: THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY) OF THE UNIVERSE is supported in part by the generosity of Friends of The REP, Brenda and Lou Alpinieri, Dr. Erica Pascal and Dr. Michael Hostetler and The Patricia and Christopher Weil Family Foundation. This production is dedicated to the memory of Al Irvine.

R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER: THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY) OF THE UNIVERSE was developed and received its world premiere production at San Diego REPertory Theatre -- March 31, 2000.

Use of the name, likeness, and words of R. Buckminster Fuller is by arrangement with the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller.

"R. Buckminster Fuller:


Written and Directed by D.W. Jacobs

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

Performed by Ron Campbell

On the Lyceum Stage

Previews: Thursday, March 10 - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Opening Night: Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Closing Night: Sunday, April 3, 2016


Ron Campbell as R. Buckminster Fuller (Bucky)

Tickets: Ticket prices start at $33.

Production Team:

David Lee Cuthbert, Scenic and Lighting Design

Darla Cash, Costume Design

Luis Perez Ixoneztli, Composer and Sound Design

Jim Findlay, Projections Design

Chandra R.M. Anthenill, Stage Manager

Performance Schedule:


Thursday, March 10 at 8 p.m.

Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 13 at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m.

Opening Night:

Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m.

Regular Performances:

Thursday, March 17 at 8 p.m.

Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 24 at 8 p.m.

Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 27 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m.

Friday, April 1 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 2 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Closing Performances:

Sunday, April 3 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

NOTE: San Diego REPertory Theatre is pleased to announce The Lyceum Theatre has received a $3 million renovation grant to upgrade its public spaces, including the lobby and concession areas, restrooms and Lyceum Stage. Renovations are funded by Horton Plaza Theatres Foundation and The City of San Diego. The remodel work will occur in stages and will begin in January 2016. Project leaders estimate it will take about a year to complete.

During construction, San Diego REP patrons will be able to access all normal amenities of The Lyceum Theatre complex. Ample parking will still be available in the Horton Plaza parking garage and the Box Office, elevators, restrooms and concession areas will be easily accessible unless otherwise noted. San Diego REP's House Management staff will keep patrons updated on renovation activities with signage posted in and around the facility as well as send e-mail communications to maintain the venue experience. For additional information, contact the Box Office at 619-544-1000 or visit

San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego REPertory Theatre is downtown San Diego's resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 300 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, the REP has produced 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 40 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented the REP with the Craig Noel Award "For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity." San Diego REPertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego REPertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit Join us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).

More Hot Stories For You