By Jessica Klarp
Black Mountain is rich in history. Part of that history includes the legacy of the Black Mountain College (1933-57) and the students and faculty who went on to make a significant mark on our culture and our world. A slice of that legacy will be brought to life Friday, September 6, through Sunday, September 8, at 7:30 p.m. each evening when the Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BMCA) presents R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE. D. W. Jacobs wrote the show using the life, work and writings of R. Buckminster Fuller.
Fuller (1895-1983) was a man of many accomplishments including author, designer, inventor and futurist. He was an instructor at the Black Mountain College during the summers of 1948 and 1949. It was during this time that he reinvented the geodesic dome, for which he is most well-known. Though his background is primarily architectural, he was also known for his meandering lectures about life, love, nature and the possibility of Universe, also known as “thinking out loud.” Performer David Novak brings Fuller to life in the form of a mind-bending, fully accessible, unforgettable lecture that demonstrates the breadth of his knowledge and philosophy.
Jacobs is a playwright, actor, director, teacher and producer who co-founded the San Diego Repertory Theatre and served as its artistic director for 20 years. He resigned his directorship to focus on writing this multi-media, one- man show which has had more than 800 performances. “I love this work because of its connection to our history,” says Lori Cozzi, newly named executive director of Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BMCA). “And I’m so happy to support David Novak, who is an outstanding artist.”
Novak is an accomplished storyteller, having won the 2002 Circle of Excellence from the National Storytelling Network. He has been a featured teller at numerous prestigious festivals and respected regional theatres and has toured internationally. He lives in Asheville where he is artistic director of A Telling Experience and an adjunct instructor for the graduate storytelling program at Eastern Tennessee State University in Johnson City.
“Buckminster Fuller was many years ahead of his time,” says Novak. “Now his time has come. Just when we need it most, by reanimating his unique, quirky genius, we can be inspired again by his vision of Spaceship Earth, his concept of Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science and his love of Universe.”
Fuller’s quirky individualism fits perfectly with the vibe of our region and contributed, in part, to how we became who we’ve become. “For a performing storyteller and actor,” Novak says, “Bucky’s far-ranging style of discourse is a thrilling, dynamic mode of speaking and performing, thinking, talking and moving through a vast range of ideas that come together into a synergetic whole.”
Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 West State Street. Tickets to R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE are $20 and can be purchased by calling 828-669-0930 or by visiting BlackMountainArts.org.