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.
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.