Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom presents wildly apocryphal retellings of two events—one historic, one mythic—that reconsider the official record through decidedly queer and feminist lenses.
Painter Sandro Botticelli is an irrepressible libertine, renowned for his weekend-long orgies as much as he is for his great masterpieces of the early Renaissance. But things get complicated when Lorenzo de’ Medici commissions Botticelli to paint a portrait of his wife, Clarice. What emerges is the famed The Birth of Venus and a love triangle involving Botticelli’s young assistant Leonardo that risks setting their world alight. For while Florence of 1497 is a liberal city, civil unrest is stoked by the charismatic friar Girolamo Savonarola who begins calling for sodomites to be burned at the pyre.
In the Bible she is unnamed, referred to simply as “Lot’s wife.” In Sunday in Sodom, Edith recounts how her husband welcomed two American soldiers into their house, the fury this sparked in their village, and the chain of events that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But most importantly, Edith sets the record straight as to why, after being told not to, she looked back upon the destruction of her hometown and turned into a pillar of salt.
About the authors
Jordan Tannahill is a playwright and filmmaker currently living between his hometown of Ottawa and London, UK. His work has been presented in theatres and festivals across Canada and internationally. He won the 2014 Governor General's Award for Drama for his book Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays and was shortlisted for the prize again in 2016 for Concord Floral (also a recipient of the 2015 Carol Bolt Award). Tannahill's book Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama (2015) was called "essential reading for anyone interested in the state of contemporary theatre and performance" by The Globe and Mail, and is on the curriculum of several North American universities. Tannahill has been described in the press as "the future of Canadian theatre" (NOW Magazine), "the hottest name in Canadian theatre" (Montreal Gazette), and "the posterchild of a new generation for whom 'interdisciplinary' is not a buzzword but a way of life" (The Globe and Mail).
William Ellis is a performer whose work in theatre and dance includes Other Jesus by Evan Webber, Even This Old Town Was a Forest by Aurora Stewart de Pena, WorkingOnWorkingOnUs by Andrew Tay, S h e e t s by Salvatore Antonio, and Greg MacArthur's A Man Vanishes. He has performed for choreographer DA Hoskins in Machine Room, The Coating Project for the Luminato Festival, and This is a Costume Drama at Harborfront World Stage. Recently he received a Toronto Theatre Critics Award--Special Citation for Videofag, which he ran with Jordan Tannahill from 2008-16.
Chandler Levack is a Toronto-based filmmaker, writer and journalist. A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre's screenwriting program, her writing has been published in SPIN, The Village Voice, The Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve, and Flare, amongst other publications. Previously, two articles published in Maisonneuve, "The Music We Hate" and "Visions of The Future," were nominated for Best Art and Entertainment Writing at the Canadian National Magazine Awards. Levack currently works at TIFF, where she is the digital editor of The Review, a blog featuring interviews and long-form criticism about TIFF's programming and film culture at large.
Lindsay, Ontario-native Greg MacArthur is a playwright, dramaturg, and teacher. His plays have been translated into numerous languages and have been produced extensively across Canada, as well as in South Africa, Germany, the UK, Mexico, Romania, Hungary, and the US. His work includes: A Man Vanishes, Horror Story, Kate Bowie, A City, The Missionary Position, Tyland: The Toxic Bus Incident, Recovery, Get Away, Snowman, and girls! girls! girls!. He was the Lee Playwright-In-Residence at the University of Alberta and was shortlisted for the 2011 Siminovitch Award for Playwriting. MacArthur holds an MFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Lethbridge, where he currently teaches in the Department of Theatre Arts.
Kirsten Bowen is Literary Director for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, where she has served as Production Dramaturg on multiple world and DC premieres, including Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire. Prior to joining Woolly, she was Associate Literary Director for New York’s Signature Theatre. She has worked as a dramaturg for the National New Play Network/Kennedy Center’s MFA Playwrights’ Workshop, Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and American Repertory Theater. She has a B.A. from Smith College and an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from the ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard University.
- Winner, Governor General's Literary Award
- Winner, Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best New Canadian Play
“Tannahill’s work is witty, sexy, and audacious, with a strong emotional core.”
Martin Morrow, Torontoist
“Jordan Tannahill’s bracingly fresh double bill takes fragments of stories from the historical record and turns them into plays for today, damning more than a few torpedoes as he goes.”
Karen Fricker, Toronto Star
“The best new Canadian play of the year.”
Robert Cushman, National Post