The curtains open, and the Gilbreth family living room welcomes the audience.
Two of the dozen children are recalling times from their past with their huge family. They mention family pastimes and tell stories about the many things their father made them do. The two children, Ernestine and Frank, played by Brittney Graves and Alex Zickafoose, then open the scene to the whole family as a flashback to the time they are recalling.
Braden River High School’s Drama Club presented “Cheaper by the Dozen” May 5 and 7.
The performance was the club’s first production of this magnitude in school history. “Cheaper by the Dozen” tells the story of the Gilbreth family and their lives living with an overly protective father, a supporting mother and many brothers and sisters. Like many fathers today, Mr. Gilbreth has troubles with his teenage daughters. They begin to want to wear silk stockings, go on dates and attend dances. He feels letting them do these things will take time away from their studies.
Anne, played by senior, Alaura Marriot, is the spokeswoman for her sisters and her own freedom. She is a young adult now entering the world of teenage boys and makeup. Conflicts arise many times during the play and is a dramatic part of the story.
“The character was fun to play,” Marriot said.
Following the play, Zickafoose, who played Frank, revealed he is no stranger to the theater and would like to have an acting career. He starred in “Grease” with the Manatee Players and advises others who may consider drama not to be nervous and to deal with stage fright by “battling it and telling yourself it’s going to be alright and take deep breaths,” he said.
His character mirrors his own life in that he and the character are the same age and both like to make fun of older siblings.
The play is one of the many firsts for Braden River. With the arrival of choir teacher Kerrie Couchois this year, the Drama Club has improved in their productions. They managed to find sponsors, students and parents willing to help build the set. They also were able to borrow most of the furniture from Braden River Antiques.
“It was a wonderful achievement,” Couchois said. “I am so proud of all the crew. They did a fantastic job, and we are now looking forward to our next production.”