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From Baylor To Big Apple

March 29, 2006

The off-Broadway production of Horton Foote's "The Traveling Lady," which was co-produced by Baylor University and the famous Ensemble Studio Theater in New York City, garnered great reviews from theater critics.

The play, which ran through March 19, was directed by Marion Castleberry, director of graduate programs at Baylor, and featured Stan Denman, chair of the University's theater department, in the role of Slim. Baylor graduate student Daniel Inouye served as assistant to Castleberry.

Charles Isherwood of The New York Times wrote that the play was directed "with intelligence and care by Mr. Castleberry" and also that "Slim is played with fine economy and grace by Stan Denman. ... Mr. Denman delivers Slim's monologue about his marriage with a sense of confusion and sorrow that is beautifully calibrated."

Marilyn Stasio of Daily Variety also was complimentary to the Baylor group, writing, "A joint venture of EST and Baylor U., where this trimmed-down 'Lady' originated in 2004, the bittersweet drama is one of the most enchanting chapters in the scribe's homespun cycle of plays set in Harrison, Texas, celebrating a small-town way of life that was washed away -- to Foote's everlasting regret -- in the oil boom."

She also referenced Castleberry's directing skills, writing, "Marion Castleberry, the Baylor director who originally mounted this show, runs a tight ensemble ship in this clean-as-a-whistle production."

Castleberry mounted his first production of "The Traveling Lady" at the inaugural Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival, held at Baylor in 2004. It was there that Curt Dempster, artistic director of EST, saw the production and expressed interest in staging it.

One of the most respected off-Broadway theaters, EST has played host to winners of Pulitzer Prizes and Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards, among them Robert Duvall, David Mamet and Richard Dreyfuss.

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