Actors trust Cheryl Denson, a longtime Dallas theater actor and now a much in-demand director. She's not a crack-the-whip type, doesn't bury herself in trivial research, never screams at the slackers. She just gets it done, making the process a lot of fun. An expert with comedies but no slouch with musicals and dramas, Denson, a Baylor grad with an MFA from Trinity University, deflects praise that comes her way. "It's not about just me. I watched directors work when I acted all those years and watched them make it about their work only. I hated that as an actor," she says. Theater, she says, ought to feel embracing and it ought to feel safe. "We're all exposing the rawest part of ourselves to do that. You can't have fearful actors." Booked a year in advance with directing jobs, Denson next takes the reins of Last Night of Ballyhoo at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, then Master Class at Lyric Stage. Next time you see a really good show, check for Denson's name in the program. Good directors such as her rarely get the applause they deserve.