Lady Gaga performing on stage at the Super Bowl in Houston

Nick Vogelpohl '13 was part of an elite group of technical designers chosen to stage Lady Gaga's Super Bowl halftime show at NRG Stadium in Houston

Theatre Alumnus Engineers Super Bowl Stage

February 10, 2017

Plenty of people worship the ground Lady Gaga walks on. Nick Vogelpohl '13 engineered it. 

The theatre design and technical alumnus was part of an elite group of technical designers chosen to stage Lady Gaga's Super Bowl LI halftime performance at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday

Turning Design into Reality

Vogelpohl and his colleagues at All Access Staging & Productions in Los Angeles turned an ambitious design concept into one that could be safely assembled in under 10 minutes — without nicking the synthetic turf.  

"What that entails is figuring out how to realistically build and manufacture units that match the designer's vision but are also functional in that they can be easily and quickly deployed and assembled, do not damage the field, and are safe for performers," says Vogelpohl. 

Worldwide Exposure

He personally designed several elements of the set, including two large stars that flanked the stage. Lady Gaga ended the show by jumping off one of these stars — after dropping her mic and catching a football — inspiring a flood of internet memes that sent Vogelpohl's work viral.  

"It was really exciting to work on such a large show, but also quite exhausting," he says. Days off aren't an option when preparing for the most-viewed TV broadcast of the year. "I wouldn’t have traded it for the world though. It was a dream come true, and it was amazing to work with all of the truly talented and dedicated people at All Access."