I’ve wondered about this since I started this beat: How often are local actors picked for roles at San Diego’s two big regional theatres?

The U-T’s James Hebert has a great story today about local actor Jason Heil, who’ll be playing a lead role at The Old Globe’s production of Plaid Tidings.

Heil has been working all over town in smaller theatres for years, and has played a smaller role at the La Jolla Playhouse, but this is his first lead role at one of San Diego’s big two. As Hebert points out, this is a big deal because the two larger theatres can afford to bring in big stars from all over the country.

Here’s Hebert:

It’s a big step for Heil, but it’s also, in its small way, an encouraging indicator of the health of the local theater ecosystem. The Globe and Playhouse have well-deserved reputations for sending shows on to Broadway and Tony-winning glory (with the Playhouse-launched musical “Memphis” being the most recent example). But that kind of success doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it happens, at least in part, because San Diego has artists like Heil who do big-time work for some of the smallest audiences, and help make this a savvy and serious theater town from the ground up.

Interesting context and insight about the local theatre scene.

What do you wish you knew more about the local theatre scene? Drop me a line directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531 and follow me on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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