The youthful cast of Cheaper By the Dozen, now on stage at the Plymouth Haven Baptist Church, portray the comedic and poignant moments of an efficiency expert, Frank Gilbreth, and his larger-than-life family during the 1920s.
Gilbreth uses his time-efficient techniques to organize his household. He makes time charts, sets up Victrolas (ask your grandparents) that play French and German in the bathrooms and pushes his 12 children to study so hard that they skip grade levels, but his strict and systematic way of parenting provides for many laughs.
Some of the plays funniest scenes occur in what Gilbreth calls his democratic family meetings. Because of the familys hilariously embarrassing antics, Anne, the oldest daughter, struggles to resist her fathers dominance. Like many teenage girls, Anne wants to go out with boys and — to her parents surprise — wear silk stockings!
Christina Morgans Anne shines even among the many talented young actors who portray not only children in the Gilbreth family, but also the parents and Annes dates.
What makes the cast truly unique is that they are all homeschooled. Morningstar Productions, a troupe based in Northern Virginia, organizes children who are homeschooled and casts them to play in their annual shows. This years cast comprises students from 12 to 18 years old.
Under the direction of Melissa Graves with the assistance of the members of the troupe (and the actors parents), the set, costumes and performance demonstrate the efficient and professional work that Gilbreth himself would be proud of. Cheaper By the Dozen, promotes a positive message and is a perfect play for families.