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'Cheaper By the Dozen' tugs at heartstrings
Camptonville Academy Players present biographical play Thursday-Jan. 27
'Cheaper By the Dozen'
Presented by Camptonville Academy Players
TIMES: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Jan. 25-26; 2 p.m. Sunday and Jan. 27
WHERE: St. John's Episcopal Church, Eighth and D streets, Marysville
TICKETS: $6; $15 groups of three or four
The Camptonville Academy Players open their seven day run of "Cheaper By the Dozen" on Jan. 17 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Marysville.
The 1948 biography, written by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey — the eldest boy and one of the eldest girls from the Gilbreth family's 12 children — portrays the story of their family's life during the 1920s.
"The story is more of a biography, sort of a remembrance. Even though we live in later and very different times, there is a timeless appeal in the characters," said director Ellie Palmer. More than a dozen crew members make the production happen backstage.
The stage adaptation for the play is by Christopher Sergel.
When the children grew up, they wrote a novel in memory of their father, Frank Gilbreth Sr., Palmer said. "It was a biography of their life at home — and the admiration of their father is very clear in the story," she said.
"He was very organized, and he ran his home sort of like a factory. The children had to line up and report for duty several times a day and nail inspection. He had a system for everything. He was highly intelligent and he loved his children," Palmer said.
The audience becomes aware in Act 1 that the father is dying. "Which puts a little bit of a somber note in the story," Palmer said, "but it's mainly a comedy.
"It tugs the heartstrings because the dad knows he's going to pass away, and he wants things to be even more organized at home because of his love for his wife. And he wants his children to have the optimum upbringing even though they will only have one parent," Palmer said.
"So it's about how he steps up the program even more and gets everything ready for his passing. It's very funny, very well written and it's also very touching."
The cast, mostly third- through 12th-graders, includes Brenna Campbell, Gabe Corey, Marissa Corona, JD Dysart, Alena Garcia, Roah McCloud, Ana McKibbon, Jonathan McLean, Brendan Meyer, Caden Meyer, Ethan Meyer, Jubilee Phillip, Charlie Roberts, Bill Socha and Cassie Zemko.
"And we also have a dog in the cast — a big chocolate Lab," Palmer laughed. "He comes out at the end and really steals the show."
Laughter is really good for you, Palmer said. "There's no cheap shots in the play. It's wholesome; it's for the whole family. It's two hours long and a lot of the humor is a little sophisticated, so I wouldn't recommend it for really young children but for children 12 and up."