Alden-Conger play mixes students young and old

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001

ALDEN — The Alden-Conger School will present &uot;Cheaper By the Dozen&uot; at 7 p.

Wednesday, March 07, 2001

ALDEN — The Alden-Conger School will present &uot;Cheaper By the Dozen&uot; at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 11, in the Alden-Conger High School gym.

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Director Dana Ford said he’s always wanted to direct this play. &uot;I think the biggest reason is because we could involve all ages, and in a K-12 building like this, it works well,&uot; he said.

There are students as young as fourth grade up through seniors in high school acting in the production. This is the first time in his six years of directing plays for A-C that Ford has involved the younger students.

&uot;It’s worked very well,&uot; he said. &uot;They’re learning a lot. It’s been invaluable for them.&uot;

The play is a heart-warming family show about the good old days when it might actually have been cheaper to raise a dozen children: the days of home-grown food and hand-me-down clothes. Father is a mastermind at finding ways to be more efficient, from buttoning one’s shirt from the bottom to top and assigning family chores. The results are uproarious, baffling and sometimes embarrassing to the family, but all for good reason.

&uot;Cheaper by the Dozen&uot; features Delvin Clark as Mr. Gilbreth, Alex Bloedel as Frank, William Peterson as Bill, Greg Opseth as Fred, Patrick Ignaszewski as Dan, Desirae Slavick as Jackie, Nick Larson as Dr. Burton, Heath Reindal as Joe Scales, Paul Scrabeck as Larry, Kenzie Johnson as Mrs. Gilbreth, Christina Levitz as Anne, Katie Johnson as Ernestine, Erin Van Engelenberg as Martha, Justian Johnson as Lillian, Emily Krogsgaard as Mrs. Fitzgerald and Jessica Wichmann as Mrs. Brill.

There are also about 10 other students working behind the scenes with such things as costumes and technical aspects of the play.

&uot;The thing I’m proudest of is what these kids are willing to do,&uot; Ford said. Junior high-age students and younger are handling things like light and sound.

&uot;They just do it. And they could go anywhere now and run lights and sound,&uot; he said.

Stephanie Lackey is the student director. &uot;She’s really gone above and beyond the call of duty this year,&uot; Ford said.

Jeanine Wills has done costumes, and Nancy Larson has done much of the set work and props.

Ford invites the public to see the production. &uot;People should come out and see what a small-town school district can do,&uot; he said. &uot;The kids are doing a nice job.&uot;

Tickets are available at the door. The cost is $3 for adults, $2 for students, and free for preschoolers.