I went to see Fresno State's "The First Breeze of Summer" and loved it. The seamless transition between the "reading" actors and the performers was awesome! I enjoyed such creativity that beautifully weaves together both types of theatre. This is the sign of an intuitive and talented director who has a flair for what convincingly works or does not on stage. The students in the play were superb and reached, if not exceeded, what you would expect of professional actors. Minimalism was especially effective for it emphasized the actors' stage work and their individual roles.
I had encouraged my students to see the play: two of them had never seen live theatre and thanked me for nudging them. When asked if they enjoyed it, both enthusiastically started talking about what they especially liked!
It is essential that we expose our college students to the theatre: many, living in small Central Valley towns, had little or no exposure to theater because there are no school funds for such trips! "First Breeze of Summer" exposed our students, as well as the Fresno community, to many socio-historical, as well as generational, issues that are still affecting our society today.
Rose Marie Kuhn