Terry Teachout of About Last Night (see blogroll), in his Wall Street Journal column, ends his terrific article on regional theatres with the following sentence: "Take it from a critic who now spends much of his time living out of a suitcase: If you don't know what's hot in "the stix," you don't know the first thing about theater in 21st-century America."
Now that a NY critic has said it, it is time for regional theatres to take the next step. Make a banner of Teachout's words and put it in your artistic director's office as a reminder, and then walk the walk. If you're proud to be a regional theatre (and you should be), then be proud to hire and retain regional actors. Your claim to being a regional theatre is shot to hell if the actors and designers and directors are regularly imported from NYC. How can you claim to be a regional theatre if everybody except your office staff lives somewhere else?