American architect David Rockwell has developed the sets for an outdoor theatre series in New York composed of small plays based on the seven lethal sins and executed in empty store home windows.


Named 7 Deadly Sins, the 7 10-moment-long plays are just about every by a unique playwright. All but just one of the performs usually takes place in a series of vacant shopfront home windows in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

Rockwell’s 7 sets depict the seven fatal sins

“As an architect and New Yorker, the pandemic has created it obvious that the town devoid of people today feels like an empty theatre,” Rockwell told Dezeen.

“A generation these as The Seven Lethal Sins that usually takes location correct on the street results in that variety of interactive frisson that helps make New York 1 of the biggest metropolitan areas in the planet,” he included.

“It celebrates that spirit of collecting outside and transforms the streets into a playhouse.”

The play takes place in Manhattan's Meatpacking District
The play entitled Envy takes place in a shipping container

Envy is the only generation carried out in a shipping and delivery container, even though the rest of the performs just take location in shopfronts close with each other amongst West 13th Road and Gansevoort Street. Rockwell did not structure the set for Greed.

Intended in specific exclusive colours, each individual play’s set attributes a dazzling graphic indicator spelling out the term of the sin it represents.

The 7 deadly sins, also regarded as cardinal sins, refer to seven common sins that are customarily deemed to be immoral in Christian teaching. They are pleasure, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth – the names of every single of the performs.

Purgatory is near the Whitney Museum
Audiences commence the working experience at a set representing the strategy of purgatory

Audiences commence their encounter at a loading dock near the Whitney Museum which functions as Purgatory, a biblical strategy for the position that sinners go to when awaiting their fate immediately after loss of life. Neon lights and a crimson Mylar curtain that doubles as a ticket window beautify the space.

The sets and storylines of each and every shorter enjoy fluctuate drastically. Lust offers its audience with a vivid neon purple scene with a pole positioned in the middle of the established, on which a pole dancer performs a monologue.

Sloth, that means laziness, includes a contrastingly mundane residing area and reveals a youthful couple arguing when the husband idly plays online video online games. Gluttony can take area in a reimagined Back garden of Eden.

“The encounter is extremely choreographed,” discussed Rockwell. “Audiences go from storefront to storefront in teams, viewing all 7 performs in an hour and 45 minutes.”

Seven Deadly Sins is a play in seven parts
Lust offers the established for a pole dancer

Satisfaction delves into the tale of a transgender blogger who is wrestling with a huge corporation owning begun to craft the written content he publishes, primary to his viewers experience betrayed by him.

The engage in usually takes spot towards a backdrop of trans flags, a rainbow curtain manufactured of Mylar and Pleasure-themed bunting.

“Each engage in has its individual exceptional tale to convey to,” reported Rockwell.

“We created a idea for each individual show then explored the design and style in renderings in advance of laying out floor plans that accounted for the a variety of audience sightlines, just one of our most important issues.”

Rockwell designed a set for each deadly sin
Sloth capabilities an standard-hunting dwelling space

The architect walked by way of various New York neighbourhoods with Seven Deadly Sins director Moisés Kaufman ahead of settling on the Meatpacking District.

New York Town Division of Transportation worked with the pair to make the productions doable.

Pride features trans flags and Pride bunting
Satisfaction capabilities brightly-lit Satisfaction bunting

Rockwell reflected on what he hopes audiences will take away from the plays, which are displaying in Manhattan until eventually 25 July.

“The playwrights have tackled the subject matter subject in incredibly persuasive and divergent techniques, so I be expecting audiences will be massively entertained and provoked, in the very best possible feeling, by the get the job done,” he said.

“Sin is a subject about which absolutely everyone can relate, and this is a very whole theatrical food with a little something for everyone.”

“On a further stage, I hope that this presents audiences a chance to flex our collective empathy muscle tissues, which may well have atrophied a bit for the duration of a year of isolation,” concluded the architect.

Seven Deadly Sins by David Rockwell
The performs get place in Manhattan shop entrance windows

David Rockwell is an American architect and designer who founded the Rockwell Team in 1984. He not too long ago designed the established for this year’s Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.

The photography is courtesy of David Rockwell.


Seven Deadly Sins is on clearly show in the Meatpacking District in New York until eventually 25 July 2021. See Dezeen Activities Guide for an up-to-date record of architecture and design gatherings taking location all around the planet.