The following was written by Kate Phillips.
When 16-year-old Alexis Stefanick of White Lake asked her dad to audition with her for a local staging of Cheaper by the Dozen, he hesitated. He hadn't been in a play since his own school days. But he decided to go for it, because he wanted to spend time with his daughter before she finishes high school and leaves home.
"There may not be many more chances left," explained Bob Stefanick of White Lake.
As it turns out, that's the guiding force behind the actions of the father that Stefanick plays -- Frank Gilbreth, an overly strict dad of 12 living in 1924.
Stefanick is sympathetic to the father he portrays, who has a heart condition that he knows will not allow him to see his children grow up.
"He wanted to make sure things went smoothly after he is gone," said Stefanick. "He is a reflection of what dads are supposed to be."
The hard-working dad has noticed many similarities between himself and Gilbreth. Both are engineers who thrive on efficiency. But Stefanick doesn't use a whistle to call his children, like the on-stage dad.
"My dad is different on stage than he is at home," said Alexis. "I think he plays the part well."
Cheaper by the Dozen is a family show that runs at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 , plus 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Milford High School Little Theater. It is produced by P.A. Drama Company, which is a local community theater group. Tickets are $10 for adults or $8 for students or seniors, and can be purchased at the door. For more information go to www.padramacompany.com or call (248) 396-9838.