Cheater Joe is surprised when his ex-wife Britt comes back around with a plan to save their relationship—three years after their divorce. Though chronically unfaithful while married, Joe still loves Britt and their boys. He willingly goes to date nights and counseling, all in pursuit of rekindling old flames and putting their family back together. But when Britt’s actions don’t seem to match what she says she wants, Joe realizes that Britt has a very specific agenda.
Britt and Joe have been divorced for three years, after Britt got sick of his serial cheating and threw him out. Since then, they've more or less managed to co-parent their two sons, and Britt has met Gerald, seemingly the man of her dreams. When Britt asks Joe to meet at Mo's, their old stomping grounds—in fact, the place where they met—the last thing he expects is for his ex to ask for another go at coupledom, but he agrees to try to put the family back together.
At their first "date," back at Mo's, Britt tries to lay down some rules for this new courtship, while Joe is more concerned with when things will get back to the way they were, i.e. sleepovers and time as a family. He resents Britt's trying to regulate the process. It's all too familiar ground that lands them in a fight, prompting Joe to walk out.
To make amends, Joe takes Britt to a fancy restaurant, where again they argue about where they are, what they're doing, who will pay, and the fact that Joe never even made a reservation. This time, they're able to diffuse in time to salvage the night—by going to Mo's.
It's Britt's turn to pick, so she takes Joe to an art museum to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit, somewhere Joe clearly doesn't want to be but he's giving it his best game to try to understand why this is important to her. There is effort to find common ground, but ultimately Britt's cold has them heading home, where Joe promises to tend to her.
Joe opts for a sports bar for his pick, and Britt is a little miffed to discover it's because there's a playoff game on. The pair get honest with each other, and their closeness is amplified when Britt spies their mutual musical hero—Bruce Springsteen—across the bar. Joe insists on introducing himself, while the introverted Britt is unable to bring herself to tag along but enthusiastically looks on. When Joe returns with a personal autograph, the two are giddy at the experience, which gets them giddy for each other, and they exit for home, barely able to keep their hands off each other.
At the theater—Britt's pick—Britt falls asleep before the end of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. In the parking lot after, it's clear that their sexual reunion of the previous scene didn't quite go as planned. Britt makes excuses, but Joe is starting to sense something's amiss. The two argue about Joe's parenting and Britt's reluctance to let him back into her life until he becomes the perfect partner. When Britt presents him with a book as a gift, Joe's doubts are amplified and the two part with their future in question.
Game time! Joe invites Britt to a Jets game, but when she shows up, he says he really wants to talk. Britt thinks he's about to end their reconciliation attempt, but does she love him? Joe wants to know. Britt never answers the question and in the course of the ensuing conversation, Joe learns the terrible secret she's been keeping from him. He's justifiably angry, but by the end of their talk, they have achieved a closure they were never able to when they divorced years earlier. There is hope for them yet.
Back at Mo's, Joe challenges Britt to a game of pool, which is what they did the night they met. The stakes? Their future. When Joe throws the game, he tells Britt that he's called Gerald and he's on his way. Though it's clear that Joe really would have liked to put his family back together, he realizes that Britt's happiness now lies elsewhere, and rather than disappoint her again, he steps aside, confident that he will continue to be a part of both Britt's and his sons' lives.
…a well thought-out play with a unique ending.
–Ventura County Star
Britt: 39 years old
Joe: 41 years old
Setting:Various locations in New Jersey
Set Note: Scenes can be as realistic or as stylistic as desire and budget allows, i.e. art museum scene does not need art, theater does not need anything more than two chairs. The final scene--whether a pool table is used or not--should use sound effects for the action.
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Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.
“Hoke manages to avoid clichés and sentimentality throughout, even though the situation at the heart of her text would readily lend itself to tear-floods. Instead, she concentrates on fluctuating emotions and on sharp dialogue, while intimating that old habits will hardly ever die.” –d’Letzeburger Land
“Flowers in the Desert by Donna Hoke is disguised as a simple piece of drama about relationships. In some moments it is funny, touching and sometimes raw. But what it really is, is anything but simple.” –Delano, Luxembourg
“There’s enough in Hoke’s perceptive dialogue to convey the gist of the situation and lead to a moving conclusion... a well thought-out play with a unique ending.” –Ventura County Star
Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The production materials for Flowers in the Desert include:
Official Logo Pack Now Included! To help you promote your show, Stage Rights now includes a logo pack with your license. The logo pack includes high resolution versions (both color and black and white) of our professionally designed show logo.
Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.