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With audience up close, NHHS Studio presents 'The Crucible'

Lindsay Patton as Elizabeth Proctor and Christian Carmean as John Proctor rehearse a scene from 'The Crucible.' Lindsay Patton as Elizabeth Proctor and Christian Carmean as John Proctor rehearse a scene from 'The Crucible.'

Lisa K. Bryant is alternately pleased and demanding.

"That was good, girls," she says as the ensemble finishes their dancing in the woods scene from Arthur Miller's "The Crucible." "Even more vocals will make it better."
She hustles the dancers off stage so they can race out for the next scene. "Quickly quickly quickly," she shouts from the wings. "Do not leave the audience waiting in the dark. All right, blackout. Go! Quickly!"
It's hour 2 of a 3-hour tech rehearsal as the cast of 20 nears opening night of the drama.
"We are doing something never before seen here at North by putting the audience on stage with the actors," Bryant says.
She has created a thrust, a three-sided seating arrangement on the stage that puts the audience close to the action. The thrust gives the audience a more intimate "black box" experience.
The classic play, about the Salem witchcraft trials in colonial times, is heavy drama at times, and not suitable for young children, Bryant says.
A veteran actress, singer, dancer and YouTheatre teacher at the Flat Rock Playhouse, Bryant is in her third year as the fulltime drama teacher at North Henderson. She cast "The Crucible" after schoolwide auditions soon after school started. It's been in rehearsal for six weeks, and opens Thursday night at 7 and continues Friday and Saturday.
"It's been really neat working with them the last couple of years," she said of the student actors. "They've grown so much that I can take on something like this. It's pushed them further."
The play by NHHS Studio stars Christian Carmea as John Proctor, Lindsay Patton as Elizabeth Proctor and April Davis as Abigail.
The on-stage arrangement seats just 75. Tickets are $5 and available at the door.
Here is the cast:
John Proctor: Christian Carmean
Elizabeth Proctor: Lindsay Patton
Abigail: April Davis
Mary: Maddie Blankenship
Rev. Hale: Dion Mills
Danforth: Jon Chaffee
Rev. Parris: Chas Cantrell
Giles Corey: Adam Milner
Ann Putnum: Sabrina Taylor
Mr. Putnum: Mark Roberts
Mercy: Andrea Kolorova
Hathorne: Jason Joyce
Betty: Madison Livingston
Cheever: Sake Willingham
Rebecca Nurse: Katlyn Searcy
Martha Corey: Kayla Ashley
Tituba: Katherine Leatherman
Frances Nurse: Bree Miller
Ruth: Brandi Ramsey
Willard: Mark Roberts