How a Childhood in Mexico Inspired David Rockwell to Be a Set Designer | 新加坡多多六合彩开奖结果


My Life in the Theatre How a Childhood in Mexico Inspired David Rockwell to Be a Set Designer

The Tony-winning designer of She Loves Me and Kinky Boots shares the secrets behind some of his most memorable sets.

Set designers are the architects of dreams. Armed with paper, pencil, and paint, they transform the intentions of the playwright and interpretations of the director into a vital and vibrant playground.

When David Rockwell鈥攖he Tony-winning designer behind Hairspray, Legally Blonde, and Kinky Boots鈥攆ell in love with the theatre, it was with that playground.

鈥淢y life changed when I saw Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway with Herschel Bernardi,鈥 Rockwell shares, referring to the 1981 revival of the Bock and Harnick classic. 鈥淭he 1,300 people in that theatre became a community around that piece, and I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of.鈥

The son of a vaudevillian mother, Rockwell traveled throughout his childhood, taking in everything from the ramshackle community productions on the Jersey Shore to the vivid life within Guadalajara, Mexico鈥檚 many plazas. Through it all, he couldn鈥檛 help but be entranced by how space informed story.

鈥淚 found that what I loved about community theatre existed in public spaces there,鈥 Rockwell explains, referring to his adolescence in Mexico. 鈥淭he bull ring, the Mariachi square, and the marketplace were kinds of urban theatre.鈥 Initially pursuing his dual passions of theatre and architecture, Rockwell鈥檚 career first took off in hospitality architecture, with his artistic itch scratched by subtly sketching in his seat while at various shows.

These covert sketches soon caught the theatre community's attention.  Rockwell made his Broadway debut transforming Circle in the Square into the passion palace of The Rocky Horror Show in 2000. 

With his trademark eye for depth and texture, it didn鈥檛 take long for Rockwell to become one of the most recognizable names in modern theatrical design, walking the fine line between the decadently detailed (On the Twentieth Century, You Can鈥檛 Take it With You, She Loves Me) and conceptually compelling playing spaces (Falsettos, A Beautiful Noise, Doubt). He credits his incredible team with helping him bring the designs from model to made.

"I think what's most inspiring about being a set designer is the sense of collaboration. For any moment that the audience takes with them, there were more than 20 different people who created that moment," Rockwell details, referring to the wide array of designers, assistant designers, technical workers, and attendants who work diligently backstage to form the world of a show. 

David Rockwell Vi Dang

Rockwell's theatrical design isn鈥檛 limited to Broadway. He's also racked up Emmys for his production design of the 2010 and 2021 Academy Awards ceremonies, making him the only architect to have won top honors at both the Tonys and the Emmys. In fact, Rockwell鈥檚 success on stage is only eclipsed by his continued domination in the hospitality sphere; Rockwell is one of the youngest designers to ever be inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame, where he was proudly proclaimed an icon of modern design.

In spite of his meteoric rise, Rockwell still zeroes in on the story his spaces can tell.

鈥淚 am always thinking about that walk-in moment, when the audience sees the world for the first time,鈥 Rockwell shares. 鈥淲hen the curtain rises and the music starts, it鈥檚 my job to immerse them into the world, so the outside world can recede. Every limitation is a new lesson. Each show is a new life.鈥

To see Rockwell's divinely detailed set models鈥攊ncluding from She Loves Me, Kinky Boots, and the current revival of Doubt鈥攆lip through the gallery below.

Photos: Set Models from the Rockwell Group's Theatre Studio

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