Playwriting: Pulpits

April 14, 2024

A sign of the pulpit plant for the coffee shop, created by one of the scenic artist volunteers for the festival.

I wrote a short play called Pulpits for Centrifuge with Infinity Box Theatre Project at Theatre Off Jackson, April 12-13, 2024. The theme was “Loyalty” and I was partnered with science writer Michelle Martin and director Tom Fraser. The play is about a barista who attempts to lure in a fungus gnat using a mysterious mushroom aroma at Pulpits, a pretentious coffee shop where lofi music plays softly.

The Science:

Deadly plant kills its pollinators but nurses their young 

“Jack-in-the-pulpit flowers – famed for trapping and killing their pollinators – might also serve as a nursery for the insects’ eggs. … When Kenji Suetsugu and his team at Kobe University in Japan incubated 62 flowers of the Asian jack-in-the-pulpit species Arisaema thunbergii, they noticed … [t]he helplessly trapped gnats laid their eggs in the flowers’ crowns. When the flowers began dying, these larvae fed on their shrivelling and decaying flesh and then popped out as adults a few weeks later. The fact that the traps could serve a dual function – as a site of pollination and as a nursery for the next generation of pollinators – is “indeed surprising”, says Suetsugu.”

The Characters:

Jax – An anxious new barista at Pulpits. The male version of Jack in the Pulpit plant.
Jayle – A seasoned manager at Pulpits. The female version of Jack in the Pulpit plant.
Finlay – A social media influencer. And a bird.
River – A sweet fungus gnat, just looking for some yummy mushrooms. 

Categorized in: