The Rocky Horror Show


Rockwell Group

Practice Area


Jordan Roth


Project Vision

The stage is set up to resemble a run-down, neglected old-time movie palace, a tribute to “B” movies of the fifties, complete with dilapidated theater seats, an art deco chandelier and a richly sculpted proscenium arch. The proscenium splits apart, collapses, and tracks off left and right; the movie seats flip upside down and disappear, and the scrim is pulled down to reveal a distorted metal grid wall in front of the onstage band. Creating a further sense of the fantastic is a similarly distorted grid projected with light onto the stage, actors scaling and hanging off the “fun house” wall, and vivid red draped fabric exploding in color behind the band. The chandelier of the movie theater becomes the vehicle for Frank’n’Furter’s entrance as it descends to the stage floor with him revealed behind a curtain of red draped fabric on top.

In the last scene, the proscenium marches back onstage, creating the backdrop for the finale and floorshow. The raised movie stage itself converts to a fashion runway extending almost the entire length of the playing stage. The chandelier becomes the rocket ship for the aliens to exit, giant thrusters propelling them to their home world. The flipping stage brings back the movie theater seats in a sweeping rotation as lights rake the audience, framing the beginning and end of The Rocky Horror Show.

Project Details
We hadn't thought of set design as EGD, but this has a strong presence of graphic elements and communicates quite well. Besides, what could be more 'placemaking' than moving people's seats around under them?
Juror 1
Where are the boundaries of EGD? It's experiential, graphic, and in the built environment, but definitely not what usually comes to mind.
Juror 2
Design Team

David Rockwell (Principal in Charge), Barry Richards, Mike Brown, Jamie Akers, Brendan Moran, Chris Morris, Paulette Polimeni, Eric Santini, Nina Stern

Design Firm

Rockwell Group