Flat Daddy's Home

Playwright on stage with "Flat Daddy," played by Dick Morrill 
It’s 2007 and the US military is using the National Guard and reservists to fill its ranks. Kate Langford’s husband, Joe, a forty-nine year old lawyer, has been serving his National Guard tour of duty in Iraq for six months. When he comes home on leave, Kate is determined to find a way to keep him home. She’s tired of Flat Daddy, the cardboard cutout of Joe, supplied by the Maine National Guard; tired of managing their home and law practice alone; and tired of her husband serving in a war that she considers immoral and wrong. And she’s worried that Joe is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Add to the mix that their seventeen year old daughter, Amanda, has fallen in love with Raul, an immigrant from El Salvador, who decides to enlist in the Army to expedite his US citizenship. Evidence mounts of Joe’s PTSD; he’s not working at a desk in a safe zone, but traveling over dangerous roads to connect with Iraqis who have filed damage claims with the US. When Kate discovers that Joe  gave the order to kill a child who was holding a cell phone, a common detonator of road-side bombs, she goes to extreme measures to keep Joe home.


In 2006 I came across an article in the Boston Globe, “Guard families cope in two dimensions.” The article described the Flat Daddy/Flat Mommy program in Maine, which was making cutouts of deployed soldiers available to their families. My brother had recently returned from a year’s service in Iraq as an Army reservist at age 54. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and the absurdity of cardboard cutouts and grey-haired soldiers led me to write the short version of FLAT DADDY’S HOME. In 2008 I decided to expand the play into a full length. Two staged readings have been held:
  • Provincetown Theater Foundation/Provincetown Theater Company’s Fall Playwrights’ Festival, November 15, 2009
  • Cape Cod Community College, September 22, 2011


Boston Globe article from 2006 which inspired the writing of the original short play.

If you’d like to read FLAT DADDY’S HOME, please download the PDF here. If you wish to perform the play, please contact me for permission and royalty information.