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Cheaper by the Dozen

Cheaper by the Dozen

Adapted by Christopher Sergel. From the book by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.

Product Code: C18000

  • Full-length Play
  • Comedy
  • Cast size: 9m., 7w.

    Limited Livestream Rights Available

Rights and availability
This title can be licensed and sold throughout Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States.

* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

$11.95 /script

Min. Royalty Rate: $110/perf

In stock


Suppose you're an attractive high-school girl and you're not only a member of a large and unique family but your father is, in fact, one of the great pioneers of industrial efficiency. Then suppose he decides, for no apparent reason, to apply his unorthodox methods to you and to the rest of your big family. The results are terribly embarrassing, funny and—it must be admitted—extremely effective! To Anne, however, the chief effect seems to be that of making them seem ridiculous to everyone else at school—especially to the boys! Dad pushes ahead with better organization for his large and delightful family. He puts up a chart for the young people to initial after completing each household task, uses a rung as an imaginary bathtub to demonstrate how to take a really efficient bath and appoints a utilities officer to levy fines on wasters of electricity. While the situations are often uproarious, there's a serious reason. Dad has a heart condition that he's keeping secret. The children don't understand them. Anne, the oldest, rebels. Both Dad and she are miserable at the lack of understanding between them. Then in a deft and moving scene, Dad becomes aware of how much Anne has grown up.


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  • Status

    In stock

  • Type of Show Full-length Play
  • Product Code C18000
  • Cast Size 16
  • Min. Royalty Rate $110/perf
  • Cost $11.95
  • Approx. Run Time 95 min


  • Target Audience Middle School | High School | College and Adult
  • Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre
  • Genre Comedy
  • ISBN(13) 9780871292285
* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

Customer Reviews

"We did this play seven years ago and still love it! It's a real audience pleaser and a great adaptation of the book. Love having a single set."
Review by Ana Clark, Quo Vadis Players, Garland, TX
"What a wonderful play! It's so nice to find a play with several characters and they all have fun moments on stage. I always have to do large cast plays and all my kids want to be in the play. This play fits the bill."
Review by Charla Little, Red Oak High School, Red Oak, TX
"Everyone associated with our production loved working on this play. The show offers just the right blend of comedy and melancholy. The whole cast and crew began to feel and behave like one big extension of the Gilbreth family."
Review by Alan J. Davino, Catskill Theatre Works, Inc., Delhi, NY
"Cheaper By the Dozen is definitely one of the most exciting and delightful plays I've ever directed. It was well received by the cast and audience. I'm looking forward to someday directing its sequel, Belles on Their Toes."
Review by Kim Dreschler, H.O.M.E. School, Lake Balboa, CA
"This is an easy show to cast and block. The stage directions are marvelous and the sound effects tape was especially helpful."
Review by Allison Lair, New London Community School, New London, IA
"Cheaper By the Dozen was a great show, lots of fun to produce. It is the perfect mix of simple sets, funny lines and yet deep meaning."
Review by Joyanne Krause, Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL
"A warm hearted comedy about life in a large family with an autocratic father. It has all the elements you want -- the warm and the fuzzies. It also has a lot of great positive energy."
Review by Sue Michaelis, Roving Players, Kingston, WA
"Cheaper By the Dozen was a perfect example of a timeless classic brought to life. It was perfectly suited to a multiage cast who were obviously enjoying each character and line."
Review by Bruce Proctor, MacArthur Avenue Players, Latta, SC
"Cheaper By the Dozen was a charming, hilarious comedy with some poignant moments we could all relate to, even in this modern age. It was well received by audience and cast alike, and is our favorite production to date. Everyone loved the period costumes and sayings of the day."
Review by Jane Savage, Santa Rosa Christian School, Santa Rosa, Calif.
"Cheaper By the Dozen is a classic comedy that teaches the importance of hard work and an empathetic heart. The characters and their struggles and triumphs are realistic and nostalgic."
Review by Lauren Tobiason, Stahl Junior High School, Puyallup, Wash.
"Cheaper By the Dozen is a lively, funny and tender play that is perfect for a high school drama class."
Review by Diane Williams, Grand Canyon United School District, Grand Canyon, Ariz.
"Cheaper By the Dozen was such a joy to perform. I always have to do large-cast plays because of all my kids that want to be in the play. They love the characters and the great fun of this play."
Review by Charla Little, Red Oak High School, Red Oak, Texas
"I was involved in this play when I was in high school and knew it was a crowd pleaser. This year was a year for new talent and I wanted to initiate them with a fun, creative show which wasn't challenging technically."
Review by Amy Henley, Mendota High School, Mendota, Ill.
"This is an enjoyable script. I found it the perfect vehicle for our dinner theater production. I have a lot of girls so it fit our group well. It is a great combination of comedy and pathos."
Review by Liz Hedges, Panola College, Carthage, Texas
"A wonderful story of family, growing up, equipping our children to carry on without us and the reality that time is short. We loved the characters in this play more and moreÑeach time an actor brought a new layer to their character he became more that character. The script allowed for the depth development of the characters."
Review by Paula Strebig, Center Stage Productions, Bellefontaine, Ohio
"Our junior high students presented this play and had so much fun doing it. Nearly every student had a "juicy" part that enabled them to ham it up for the audience."
Review by Judy Kegler, Immaculate Conception School, East Aurora, N.Y.
"Wonderful community show. Great audience reactions. It's funny, serious and touching. I love the convenience of a single set. We were able to use some grade-school students in younger roles."
Review by Linda Piccolo, Jefferson High School, Boulder, Mont.
"Very popular with our audiencesÑbiggest crowds we've had in years."
Review by Jacklyn Keagy, Dover Area High School, Dover, Pa.
"This has been the most profitable and well received show of our first season. The children are loving being in this production, and the adults are raving about it."
Review by Robert Plowman, LaGrange Repertory Theatre, Westmont, Ill.
"What a wonderful play!! Every time we have performed this show, it is a blast! The audience loves the characters and the wonderful story! And so do my actors!"
Review by Charla Little, Red Oak High School, Red Oak, Texas
"Cheaper By the Dozen is a production that can be enjoyed by any age. It is filled with lots of fun and energy. A true story played out on stage, it leaves you with a great message about family and values. A perfect show for teens in high school. A perfect example of a family that teaches values and manners of a time gone by."
Review by Robinne Booth, Merit Academy, Springville, Utah
"We absolutely loved Cheaper By the Dozen! The cast had a lot of fun performing, and the play was well received. We had to add an extra performance and still had to turn people away the final night! We loved the witty dialogue."
Review by Abby Weaver, Life Youth Group, Quarryville, Pa.
"This was a crowd pleaser! A joy for audiences of all ages. The sound effects CD was definitely helpful."
Review by Amber Pauls, Clinton Christian School, Goshen, Ind.
"Wonderful family-oriented play with humor as well as good life lessons. The story can take the audience from laughter to tears. Easy set and fun old-fashioned costumes."
Review by Andrea Brown, Hardin County Home Educators, New Providence, Iowa
"Being allowed the privilege to direct Cheaper by the Dozen has been one of my most rewarding theatrical experiences. Blending the experience and age levels of the actors and actresses into an ensemble performance has truly been exciting to witness. Actresses and actors of all ages working together and learning from each other is such an important aspect of a successful experience of quality theatre."
Review by Lori David, Director, Grey Lite Theatre

Hints, Tips, and Tricks

"Since this is such a well-known title, there were a number of students who auditioned (overwhelming, in fact!); so I double cast the play with separate performances."
Tip by David Harris, Des Moines Christian School, Des Moines, Iowa
"Be creative when you build the set. You need to have the exits marked in the footprint for blocking, but how you interpret them makes it so much more interesting for the audience."
Tip by Lynn Sterkenburg, Xenia Christian School, Xenia, Ohio
"Can be done on small stage with simple set and "mini" stairs and landing. This did not require a lot of props. Set pieces and appropriate costumes easy to find."
Tip by Diane King, Fresta Valley Christian School, Marshall, Va.
"The sound effects tape worked well and we would recommend getting it. Because of the single set this play was perfect for our small stage with no wings or backstage area."
Tip by Bill Hellkamp, Holy Family Home Educators, Shakopee, Minn.
"Have fun! Keep the play upbeat and lively. Make it fun for everyone involved."
Tip by Sarah Bollenbach, Reformed Baptist Church Homeschool, Coatesville, Pa.
"Make sure you have as many places as possible for the kids to come runinng from and try to always have a real dog! The audience loves that."
Tip by Charla Little, Red Oak High School, Red Oak, Texas

Production Map

Location City State Opens Closes
Black Rose Theatre Company Brandon Mississippi 10/3/2024 10/13/2024
Sierra Vista Mall Clovis California 4/26/2024 4/28/2024
Christian Life Church Macomb Michigan 6/14/2024 6/23/2024
Master Arts Theatre Grand Rapids Michigan 2/27/2025 3/15/2025
Niagara Arts and Cultural Center Niagara Falls New York 5/9/2025 5/18/2025
Trinity Church of the Nazarene Florissant Missouri 8/9/2024 8/10/2024


File Description File Format
Sheet Music (Love's Old Sweet Song)pdfDownload
Performance PosterpdfDownload

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