I just got back from seeing Arena Stage’s (Arlington, VA) production of the one-man show R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE. Through some happy overlay of space-time vectors that Bucky himself would appreciate, Dale Dougherty was there, too (and sat right in front of us).

This play has been making the rounds over the years. It’s only at Arena through July 4th (but maybe it’ll get extended). If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it (here or at another, future staging). It’s actually quite subversive in that it’s basically a two hour and twenty minute-long Bucky lecture, but done in a theater setting, with multimedia, classroom props, geometric models, and Bucky’s life story to deepen the impact of presenting his ideas to a general audience. It’s pretty effective.

I love this except from the play program:

Bucky believed that each individual is a verb, an “integral function of Universe,” possessing not only the knowledge necessary to “make the World work for all humanity,” but also the ability to act. His ideas, inventions, and inspirational philosophy encourage each individual to wrestle with Bucky’s favorite question: “If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do… How would I be? What would I do?”

This page, on Arena’s site has a lot of good articles and video content about the play, Fuller, and his impact on and import for today’s world.

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

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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