As the Playhouse Play reading Committee was choosing the plays to put on the 2009/2010 season, none of the members were aware of the fact that there was a very direct Omaha connection to one of the plays that they chose to include in the upcoming season. When the new season was announced, the Playhouse staff was contacted by a gentleman who told them that there were four generations of members of the Gilbreth family living in Omaha. The Gilbreth family was the original family about whom Cheaper By The Dozen was written.
Cheaper By The Dozen is a 1948 book by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey that tells the story of time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth and their twelve children. The book focuses on the many years the family resided in Montclair, New Jersey. The book was later dramatized by Christopher Sergel for the stage.
The title comes from one of Frank Sr.'s favorite jokes: it often happened that when he and his family were out driving and stopped at a red light, a pedestrian would ask, "Hey, Mister! How come you got so many kids?" Gilbreth would pretend to ponder the question carefully and then, just as the light turned green he would say, "Well, they come cheaper by the dozen you know" and drive off.
Irene Gilbreth, who was married to Dan Gilbreth, does live in Omaha as well as her daughter, her grandson and her great-granddaughter. Dan Gilbreth was one of the dozen children in the original Cheaper By The Dozen family.
The Playhouse is very excited that all four generations of the Gilbreth family will be represented in the opening night audience of Cheaper By The Dozen at the Omaha Community Playhouse on Friday, January 22, 2010.
Cheaper By The Dozen, directed by Guest Director Judy Hart, will be performed on the Playhouse Mainstage from January 22 through February 14, 2010. A definite "Don't miss!" family production for everyone.