SUSAN V. BOOTH began her relationship with the Alliance Theatre as a freelance director, breezing in from Chicago and blowing audiences away with stunning stagings of such challenging shows as How I Learned to Drive. Since being named the Alliances artistic director in 2001, shes directed smart productions including Proof and My Fair Lady while leading Atlantas premiere playhouse. Shes always been reliable, but outdid herself when visiting Actors Express to direct Thom Pain (Based on Nothing). Booth took a potentially maddening one-man show about an evasive, self-loathing narrator (played to acerbic perfection by Chris Kayser) and made it utterly engrossing. She played no small role in the Alliance earning a Regional Theatre Tony Award this year. Itll be fascinating to see what she does with John Patrick Shanleys confrontational Pulitzer Prize-winner Doubt in 2008.