Botticelli in the Fire

MAY 28-JUNE 24, 2018

  • By Jordan Tannahill
  • Directed by Marti Lyons
  • Approximately two hours and fifteen minutes with one intermission

Sandro Botticelli is devoted to beauty, sensuality, and pleasure. While painting The Birth of Venus, however, the limits of his dedication are put to the test by the arrival of a conservative priest leading a populist revolution in Lorenzo de' Medici’s Florence. When his full-throttle, decadent ways catch up to him, will the famed artist sacrifice his work… or the life of his young apprentice, Leonardo Da Vinci?

Botticelli in the Fire is an ambitious, modern story that sets the present political moment ablaze. The American premiere of this new work by Jordan Tannahill—“the hottest name in Canadian theatre” (Montreal Gazette)—will bring Woolly’s 38th season to a searing close.

Featuring company members Cody Nickell, Jon Hudson Odom, and Dawn Ursula


About the Playwright: Jordan Tannahill

JORDAN TANNAHILL (Playwright) is a Canadian playwright and filmmaker. His work has been presented in theatres, festivals, and galleries across Canada and internationally.

Jordan's plays have been honored with various prizes including the 2014 Governor Generals Award for Drama for his book Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays, the 2014 John Hirsch Prize for directing, and Dora Awards for Outstanding New Play for rihannaboi95 in 2013 and Concord Floral in 2015. Concord Floral also received the 2015 Carol Bolt Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Governor General's Award for Drama. In 2016 Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom won the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best New Play and its production at Canadian Stage received the Dora Award for Outstanding Production.

From 2008-2016, Jordan wrote and directed plays through Suburban Beast, a Toronto-based theatre company he founded with Rae Powell and later ran with Erin Brubacher. The company's work was staged in theatres, art galleries, a car garage, a frat house, and YouTube, and frequently involved performances by non-traditional performers.

From 2012-2016, in collaboration with William Ellis, Jordan ran the alternative art space Videofag out of their home in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighborhood. Over the four years of its operation, Videofag became an influential hub for queer and avant-garde work in Canada. Jordan’s production of Sheila Heti's All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, produced and directed with collaborator Erin Brubacher, premiered at Videofag in 2013 and went on to sold-out productions at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre's World Stage and New York City's The Kitchen in 2015.

His book Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama, published by Coach House Press in 2015, was called “essential reading for anyone interested in the state of contemporary theatre and performance” by The Globe and Mail. It is currently on the curriculum of several North American universities.

Tannahill has been alternatively described in the press as "the future of Canadian theatre" (NOW Magazine), "the hottest name in Canadian theatre" (Montreal Gazette), and "the poster child of a new generation for whom 'interdisciplinary' is not a buzzword but a way of life" (The Globe and Mail).

About the Director: Marti Lyons

MARTI LYONS (Director) most recently directed Wondrous Strange, by Meg Miroshnik, Martyna Majok, Jen Silverman, and Jiehae Park, for the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, starring the theatre's Apprentice Company, and a reading of Meg Miroshnik's Lady Tattoo for the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory Theatre. Marti has also directed Will Eno’s Title and Deed for Lookingglass Theatre Company and a reading of Martín Zimmerman's On the Exhale for the New Stages Festival at Goodman Theatre, where she received the 2015 Maggio directing fellowship. Other projects include Laura Marks’ Bethany, Marks' Mine and Will Nedved’s Body and Blood for The Gift Theatre, where she is an ensemble member; Catherine Trieschmann’s Hot Georgia Sunday and Theresa Rebeck's Seminar for Haven Theatre; Prowess by Ike Holter, The Peacock by Calamity West, and The Last Duck by Lucas Neff for Jackalope Theatre; The Play About My Dad by Boo Killebrew for Raven Theatre; Mai Dang Lao by David Jacobi, 9 Circles by Bill Cain, Maria/Stuart by Jason Grote, and co-directed The Golden Dragon for Sideshow Theatre, where she is an artistic associate. Next season Marti will direct City of Conversation by Anthony Giardina for Northlight Theatre Company, W;t by Margaret Edson for The Hypocrites, Short Shakes! Romeo and Juliet for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Mystery of Love and Sex by Bathsheba Doran for Writers Theatre, and Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías for Victory Gardens Theatre. Marti is a proud member of SDC.