Suppose you’re an attractive high school girl, and you’re not only a member of a large and unique family but your father is, in fact, one of the great pioneers of industrial efficiency. Then suppose he decides, for no apparent reason, to apply his unorthodox methods to you and to the rest of your big family. The results are terribly embarrassing, funny and—it must be admitted—extremely effective! To Anne, however, the chief effect seems to be that of making them (her family) ridiculous to everyone else at school—especially to the boys! Dad pushes ahead with better organization for his large and delightful family. He puts up a chart for the young people to initial after completing each household task, uses a rung as an imaginary bathtub to demonstrate how to take a really efficient bath, and appoints a utilities officer to levy fines on wasters of electricity. While the situations are often uproarious, there’s a serious reason. Dad has a heart condition, which he’s keeping secret. The children don’t understand. Anne, the oldest, rebels. Both Dad and she are miserable about the lack of understanding between them. Then in a deft and moving scene, Dad becomes aware of how much Anne has grown up.
From the book by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, Dramatized by Christopher Sergel
Cheaper by the Dozen Preview (Curtain Calls 1.3, September 2005)
“Cheaper by the Dozen” was a financially successful play and was also well-received by the audiences. As a benefit to membership, there was an opening weekend dinner that members could sign up for and chat with board members. For the first regular show of the season, the first dinner was hosted by John and Jean Lieder. Members were asked to sign up in advance with the understanding that they would pay for their own meal. This dinner was an opportunity for members to discuss Players, upcoming shows and auditions. The first dinner was held at Famous Dave’s Barbecue. After the dinner, everyone went to see the play.