On the outside looking in, Frank Gilbreth seems a little nutty.

On the outside looking in, Frank Gilbreth seems a little nutty.

Mr. Gilbreth is one of the leading experts in industrial efficiency. In this role, his job is to figure out a way to make sure factories operate at their peak performance. Given his success, Mr. Gilbreth decides to use his recipe of running factories smoothly on his 12 children at home to ensure his household functions at a high level, too. So he attempts to teach his kids how to take an efficient bath and he appoints one of his children as a utilities officer to levy fines on wasters of electricity.

While Mr. Gibreth’s methods are highly embarrassing, yet extremely effective, the reasoning behind his unorthodox methods are no joking matter. The father is stricken with a heart condition and he hopes his strange methods of running his household will prepare his kids to be able to live life without him, should he enter into an early grave.

The Children’s Theatre, Inc., will open with the comedic, yet touching, production of "Cheaper by the Dozen” at the Schwartz Center for the Arts on Saturday.

Corey Del Castillo, starring Mr. Gilbreth, likes that the show is a dramedy.

"It’s so fun and exciting,” said Del Castillo, of Dover. "It’s exciting because the whole play is kind of funny, but at the same time it’s serious."

A truly funny moment in the Children’s Theatre’s rendition of the show is when Anne Gilbeth, a slightly rebellious teenager and eldest of her siblings, introduces her father to her bad-boy boyfriend, Joe Scales. What makes the Children’s Theatre’s version of this scene shine bright is the fact that there’s a great contrast in the ages between Joe, played by 9-year-old Logan Babenko, and his girlfriend, Anne, played by 15-year-old Riley Evans.

"I’m single-digits and she’s double-digits” Babenko said. "It sounds really weird, but I just go with it.”

Director Tom Suter cast Babenko as Joe because he knew he would have a great impact on the show, even though he only appears in this one scene.

"We picked Logan particularity for that role, one because of the way he is normally," Suter said. "He’s very vocal and has a lot of energy, and he brings that energy on stage."


WHAT "Cheaper by the Dozen,” presented by Children’s Theatre, Inc.

WHEN 7 p.m., Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday

WHERE Schwartz Center for the Arts, 226 State St., Dover

COST $10 for adults; $8 for children

INFO Visit schwartzcenter.com or call 678-3583