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Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Audience Comments and Evaluations for  "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" and "Perils of Pauline's Family Business"

Dear Ira: Thank you so much for the inspiring performance that you brought to Wichita, "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home." As one guest said, "The drama was excellent. There were some segments of drama that were familiar, and served as a reminder or wake-up call that these are very real issues." The cast of "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" is a talented group of actors who know the issues they are portraying, and the dilemmas that plague family businesses. The discussion between acts was a useful way of sharing our thoughts about the drama, and also served to promote social interaction among our guests. As a direct result of the performance, several prospects for the Kansas Family Business Forum requested brochures for the upcoming year, and expressed interest in becoming a member.

Lastly, we were pleased that the production went off without a hitch. The cast was easy to work with, the technical support was accounted for, and the event went smoothly from start to finish. Considering this was the first time we had hosted such a production, we felt very fortunate. Thanks again! Ron Christy Director, Kansas Family Business Forum


The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley drama-cases on families in business are ideal for the occasions where you don't have the luxury of time for advanced preparation. Witty and clever, they bring the power of family drama into the living room or the conference arena and are a provocative form of entertainment -Louis "By" Barnes, Harvard Business School Family Business MBA and Owner / President / Manager Programs


Program Evaluation: Wait Till Your Father Gets Home performance for the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, Wednesday, June 17, 1998 •Northampton , Mass.

  1. The presentation held my interest FELL SHORT 0% MET EXPECTATIONS 11% EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS 89%
  2. The information presented was valuable/useful FELL SHORT 0% MET EXPECTATIONS 41% EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS 59%
  3. The presentation showed clear command of the subject matter FELL SHORT 0% MET EXPECTATIONS 11% EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS 89%
  4. There was ample audience interaction FELL SHORT 0% MET EXPECTATIONS 57% EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS 43%
  5. I would recommend this presentation FELL SHORT 0% MET EXPECTATIONS 2% EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS 98%

  • [What I liked best was] the drama and tension which allowed the issues to be felt by the audience.
  • [It made me realize] the importance of accepting and complimenting my siblings in the business.
  • This was truly a "magical evening."
  • This was better than most non-Broadway productions. Terrific music. Brilliant. Very, very clever. Thank you.
  • [I am leaving with a sense that] our family business is not unique. We all have the same issues to deal with every day.
  • [We liked] the discussions between the acts because they crystallized the problems. We have a great son! (parents of the author)
  • I enjoyed the play, and was so impressed. It was wonderful! The theme of it, the music, the acting…
  • I was thoroughly enthralled! It's play you could relate not only to family business, but to families per se…
  • I am not a family member (non-family key employee) …This play gets everyone thinking. Very thought provoking, this is a gift. (not the parents of the author)
  • [There were] a great variety of issues. No nonsense.
  • It hit all the important real life issues.
  • The singing was great.
  • Super-fantastic doesn't do it justice!
  • [I liked] the music and enthusiasm. It was great!
  • Great script, strong acting talent.
  • The music was extremely well suited to the rest of the show.
  • The whole play was great! Go national! We are very happy with the program.
  • Great evening! The production was terrific and discussion between family members made for a great night- delighted to be there.
  • I couldn't get to sleep till 3 am, thinking about it… and still am, days later!!
  • We were awed, we were not expecting anything that professional; it was good, good, good all the way. We thank you for inviting us to the dinner/theatre. What a wonderful evening!

I have to say that I had some skepticism about the idea of drama as a vehicle for teaching and learning about corporate and family behavior, but I am now a believer. Of course, much depends upon the quality of the play itself and of the actors. Both were excellent. There was real drama. Using the granddaughter as the chorus with a camcorder was a brilliant coup. By the end of Act II, you had convinced Gloria and me that the case was hopeless, yet the final resolution was believable. The key point for me was the necessity of the conflict to develop and reach a crisis. How often conflict over important matters gets defused and dissipated (in the interests of human relations, effective communications, false harmony etc), so that what counts do not get dealt with. The agony is suppressed, but the pain goes on. You were willing to take it as far as a wrestling match! Old Heracleitus still has much to teach us: "Strife is the father of all things."

From my experience, the agenda is far more important than the decisionsabout what is on the agenda. More precisely, good decision have to be based on good problems/ questions. As the brothers sang in the finale, "Two Rights Don't Make a Wrong." Suppression of conflict implies the situation is hopeless. Thanks again, for providing us with such a wonderful evening. Best wishes for success with your idea.


Dear Ira

Just a short note about your business musical, "Wait Till your Father Gets Home." This was one of the most enjoyable business presentation I've ever seen. It was certainly many steps above typical business presentations which are often dry, pedantic and posturing. Your play was vibrant and full of life. The music and Yiddish dialog made it absolutely memorable. It was well acted and the essential message was charged with emotion and meaning. I hope you continue your work as a business playwright. We all need to loosen up and laugh at ourselves a little more. Once again, congratulations Ira. You're quite a mensch!

Sincerely, Paul Alves, Giombetti Associates


Evaluation of "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" at the Northeastern University Center for Family Business March 1999

What I liked best was:

  • The vision of the future of business.
  • The humor and the reality. This format provides a welcome change from the typical educational program.
  • It made me do a lot of thinking and seeing it as a play was great.
  • Dealt with real issues found in family businesses in a humorous and meaningful way.
  • How you portray the emotionally charged atmosphere existing within family businesses.
  • The play is extremely clever, and the use of humor to forward serious issues is most effective.
  • Discussions between acts.
  • Detailed illustrations/case study. Messages were important and relative.
  • Fun and interesting presentation of family issues.

Letter from Paul I. Karofsky, Director, Northeastern University Center for Family Business

Dear Ira,

Clearly a hit! I trust you will be as pleased with the evaluations as we are. I am ready to book the next one for Spring 2000! Thank you for giving us such a delightful, insightful evening.


Audience reaction to performance of "The Perils of Pauline's Family Business" for the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley- Dec. 1996

  • I felt it was a great way to discuss family business problems. It made us feel like a 3rd party-yet you saw your own problems.
  • As a mother/wife of children in a family business, this is a useful process.
  • Excellent! This group is outstanding. Very appropriate for audience.
  • Very Good Presentation! We need more of this type of involvement. Helps families in business to see themselves in role playing or "Play Back" of this type.
  • Thanks for all your work to make it interesting and informative.
  • Helpful and creative use of dramatization. Very unique.
  • The bigger our business grows, the harder it is for family members to have non-stressed conversations.
  • Since my family saw this play, we have been more well behaved and loving with each other.
  • Of all the associations we are involved with, the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley provides, by far, the most thought provoking meetings.
  • We felt alone an totally isolated feeling like we were all going to sink. There appeared to be no solutions, no way out or no way in. This program and all that it offers has given us a light in the tunnel that was totally dark.
  • A great tool for family businesses. Hallelujah!
  • Very innovative way of presenting a difficult situation!
  • This was great!! Entertaining, useful, opened my eyes!!
  • This is the BEST way to study business cases. It keeps everyone AWAKE and involves them in solving problems.
  • We COLLECTIVELY have the experience to solve one-another's problems, if asked!
  • Very well performed and significant in material and content!
  • Much better venue to induce discussion. Terrific topics, I like being able to see different facets of family decision making in one meeting.

Evaluation of "The Perils of Pauline" from Northeastern University Center for Family Business

What I liked best was:

  • Vignette approach. Fluid Sculptures.
  • Great Job!
  • Interactive participation. Analysis of the process. Facilitator did a good job.
  • Unquestionably a "high water mark" in the history of NUCFB.
  • Two thumbs up. Amazing program. Best line "the partners keep repeating themselves".
  • Well dramatized points, very clear to the audience, like a picture worth a 1000 words.
  • The play was very enjoyable. It hit a lot of home spats. Thank-you!  

Letter from Kim Michelstein, Director of King's College Family Firm Education Program

Dear Ira,

What a success (and relief)! Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, the Year II opening event for the King's College Family Firm Education Program received unanimous praise and outstanding evaluations from all who attended. Thank-you for bringing the production and crew to Wilkes-Barre. I have only praise for the manner in which the event was coordinated--from hauling equipment and people, setting up stage, and working with King's personnel to ensure the evening ran smoothly. King's has never before hosted a dinner theater, and the success of the event has inspired college administrators to consider using a similar format for programs for trustees, the President's Council, and key donors. Again, thank-you for writing, producing, and delivering a wonderful production to which all family business owners and their families could relate. Please extend my thanks and congratulations to all members of the crew and team.


Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Family Business Forum - Event Evaluation Comments:

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home May 1, 1999

  • This was fun! Play was great and lots of food for thought - hit some hot spots re: family business. It was fun for everyone even family members NOT directly involved, but must listen at home. Thanks! Overall rating a 10.
  • I think you absolutely outdid yourself! Great performance and great food. Let's do it again. Overall rating a 10.
  • It was different, But very enjoyable type of Play acting. It helps you think as you are a part of the play and how the outcome might be in your own family business. Overall rating a 9.
  • I enjoyed this very much and realized how close some events have happened in my business. Thank you for inviting me to this event. Overall rating an 8.
  • Music was very enjoyable. Overall rating a 9.
  • FUN, INSPIRATIONAL, WELL WORTH THE 3 HOUR DRIVE. I saw the value of having Jake's and Sol's involved to bring out the best in the business. Overall rating a 9.
  • Sounds like our business - learned that my sister, husband and I should talk more and listen to each other - share ideas. Overall rating a 9.
  • GREAT ACTING! Saw audience reacting very well. Relevant! Do It Again! Overall rating a 9.
  • It is amazing how similiar alot of these situations are in my company. I think we should use the resources we have and try to fix one thing at a time. This way something is being fixed, and not give up on all of it. Overall rating a 9.
  • Very Good way to show examples. Much more efficient than a speaker. Interesting and well done. Overalll rating a 10.
  • Enjoyed the evening! Overall rating a 10.
  • Good Format. Enjoyed the originality & unique approach. Overall rating a 9.
  • This really was GREAT! We laughed and cried which is what its all about in family businesses. The ending was fun - now we all get to go out and live it. Thanks! Overall rating a 10.
  • The play was a good way to get people to think and talk. overall rating an 8
  • I enjoyed the play and thought it was a good depiction of some family business I know. Overall rating an 8.
  • Well Done! Food for thought. Overall rating 10.
  • Thought Provoking. Overall rating a 9.
  • Cash is King! Overall rating a 9.
  • Great way to bring up issues in an entertaining way. Overall rating a 9.
  • Very interesting & fun. I hope to see more of this type of entertainment - especially one with a lesson. overall rating a 10.
  • Great Job! Overall rating a 10.
  • Thought the play was very realistic. Overall rating a 9.

May 4, 1999
Dear Ira,

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Your team did a sensational job putting on this event. As you can see by the comments my group truly identified with the Schwartz family. I am only sorry we didn't have more members available to participate in this entertaining, informative performance. Your troupe is not only professional, but a delightfully nice group of people to work with. My staff, members, guests and I enjoyed this entire experience. We are definitely booking you again next year for the Perils of Pauline. One of my larger families has also informed me that they want to look into having you do a personalized performance for them at their annual family retreat. Bravo.

I will encourage all the other Directors I know to have you in. If you need a reference or if anyone would like to call and talk about the detail of putting one of these events on please feel free to give them my number. Keep up the good work and keep creating such clever stuff. We need more programming like this. Thanks for making me look so good to my Chancellor and Dean.

Yours very truly;
Pam Burlingame, Director University of Southern Illinois Family Business Center

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