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Columbus Commons Blog

The Art of Production Management

In his role as the Columbus Commons Production Manager, Nick Sico ensures that productions at the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion, whether produced by the Commons or by an external organization, go off without a hitch. Nick began his career in theater in high school, attending Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, where he gained a substantial amount of experience as a performer and a technician on theater productions. In college he majored in History and began rock climbing. After college, while “avoiding graduate school,” as he puts it, Nick was introduced by a friend to the local Columbus chapter of the stagehand union. Between his experience with theater productions in high school and his climbing skills, he was a perfect fit for rigging.

Now, what may you ask is rigging? Essentially, as Nick sums it up, riggers are responsible for “suspending equipment above performers and audiences.” As a rigger, stagehand, and technician, Nick has been working in the theater and event production community in Columbus for nine years now.

Before joining the Columbus Commons team, one of Nick’s primary employers was the Columbus Association of the Performing Arts (CAPA). While working for CAPA, Nick worked on many Columbus Symphony Orchestra shows at the Ohio Theater. Now, as the Columbus Commons Production Manager, Nick gets to work with the Columbus Symphony in a new capacity – as the host! The Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion, which Nick manages, was built to serve as the venue for the Columbus Symphony’s Picnic with the Pops series. And Nick couldn’t be happier about this arrangement – he looks forward to the Picnic with the Pops series all year long and, as he puts it, “I’ve had the privilege of interacting with the Symphony production team and they are very professional and a true pleasure to work with.” Ultimately, Nick sees his role throughout the events season at the Commons as serving the public by producing top notch, live performances in the heart of Downtown.

During events produced by Columbus Commons, like Downtown Live, Blues Night, or the upcoming Navigators show, Nick manages all facets of production, from discussions with musical acts about technical needs, to hiring technicians and managing the Pavilion stage during the show. However, during external events like Picnic with the Pops or the recent Soul Food Festival featuring Gladys Knight, Nick’s role transforms into that of an ambassador – ensuring the external producer has all of the equipment they need, any additional staffing they may require, and that the Pavilion is in tip top shape.

In advance of this year’s Picnic with the Pops season, Nick and his counterparts with the Columbus Symphony reflected on feedback from last year’s Picnic patrons about sound quality and the overall concert-going experience. Over the past several months, Columbus Commons has made changes to technical equipment and implemented strategies for sound production. Nick truly hopes that patrons this year notice a marked improvement.

So, if you haven’t been down to the Commons yet for a live concert at the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion, there are still plenty of great shows to catch this summer.  There’s the Picnic with the Pops series beginning this weekend, Downtown Live shows on select Thursdays through September 9th, The Navigators on July 12th, and more

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Photo credit: Stage Left Creative | Kerry Henderson