Leave it to Philadelphia's enthusiastic stage professionals to plan a rousing encore, now that the region's theatrical boosters' group - the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia - is going out of business.
With the Alliance's departure from the theater scene goes the Barrymore Awards, rightly viewed as an important career-building honor for young and established artists alike. But beyond presenting a challenge to find another way to spotlight center-stage talent, the theatrical service group leaves a gap in terms of providing the region's stages with a unified voice.
So it was encouraging, then, to see the final Barrymores announced Monday at a Kimmel Center gala dubbed "Theatre Philadelphia: A Celebration," and to have that followed the next day by a town hall-style brainstorming session.
Meeting at the Arden Theatre Company, actors, stage managers and others pondered next moves, leaving with a pledge to explore specific strategies to work together on boosting audiences, fund-raising and supporting theater-group operations.