Local student shines at Hippodrome Theatre
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:08

Butler interns at Baltimore City theatre

by Nicole Rodman

    Dalton Butler is a man with a plan.
    A senior at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, Butler studies technical theatre in hopes of, one day, working in theatre production.
    Now, thanks to an internship with the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Butler is closer to his dreams than ever before.
    On Nov. 28, Butler got the chance to shine the spotlight for the theatre’s production of Million Dollar Quartet.
    The opportunity was part of the Tech Shadow Program organized by the Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. (HFI).
    A non-profit partner of the Hippodrome Theatre, HFI’s mission, according to the group’s website, is to “increase access to the Hippodrome and all of its assets through free outreach and education programs for the Maryland community.”
    One way HFI does this is through its Camp Hippodrome program.
    During Camp Hippodrome, students receive professional, hands-on instruction on various technical aspects of stage production.
    “Camp Hippodrome tech students get professional instruction during the summer and learn how to work with the Hippodrome’s state of the art equipment,” HFI director Oliver Waxter noted in a press release, adding, “To supplement that summer experience with a chance to work beside a professional stage crew during a live performance is a dream for them.”

A participant in Camp Hippodrome as a sophomore, Butler learned about the Tech Shadow program through Patapsco theatre teacher Kevin Carlson.
    “When I became a senior my teacher Mr. Carlson had told me about the possibility of the internship,” Butler told The Eagle last week.
    Butler’s internship is two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and encompasses many aspects of stage production and design.
    While most of the work consists of assisting staff members with various tasks, Butler also gets to see shows and, occasionally, help out behind the scenes during a production.
    For his part, Butler is learning a lot about stage production and what it takes to put on a show.
    “It is amazing to be part of the production, to hear the audience react and feel the actors’ energy,” Butler stated in an HFI press release.
    He noted, “People don’t realize how much is going on behind the scenes.  It’s so exciting to be a part of it!”
    Now in his last year at Patapsco, Butler plans to continue his study of theatre production in college.
    “After I graduate from high school I would like to work at the Hippodrome Theatre for a little bit and then go to college for theatre design and production,” Butler explained.
    Whatever path he chooses to take, Butler’s future should be as bright as the spotlights he is learning to wield.