by Lorie Lewis Ham
This week the play Cheaper By The Dozen will be opening at Reedley High School. Cheaper by the Dozen is based on the true story of the Gilbreth Family, and adapted from the book of the same name.
Frank Gilbreth, Sr., who was a pioneer in the field of motion study and was well-known for bringing better efficiency to factories, kept his family of twelve children running just as efficiently, with often amusing and embarrassing results. He resisted popular culture, railing against his daughters’ desires for bobbed hair and cosmetics. The play is told from the point of view of two of the children, reflecting on the last few months before their father’s death. This is a very funny and heartwarming family story. The book was written by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and his sister Ernestine (who lived in Reedley for many years), and was turned into a major motion picture in 1950, starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy. Dramatic Publishing Company published the acting editions in those same years.
Mark Norwood, Kings Canyon Unified School District’s theatre arts coordinator and director of this show, says he chose Cheaper By The Dozen for their fall play because it is a fun show with a lot of roles. The cast includes not only RHS students, but one middle school student, two elementary school students, two babies and one dog.
“My favorite part of working for KCUSD is giving the students a taste of what the combination of commitment and talent can result in,” stated Mark when asked what he enjoys most about directing shows at RHS. “To see kids who have never done theatre before (or even seen theatre in many cases) experience the joy that the performing arts can bring is truly wonderful. To see the confidence it can foster in every aspect of their lives is very rewarding.”
Cheaper By the Dozen will be performed at the Reedley High School Performing Arts Theatre, 740 W. North at Reedley High School, on November 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and November 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults and are available in advance at Bike Trax and at the door.
Check out more local arts and entertainment articles in KRL’s A & E section.