Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom

By (author): Jordan Tannahill

Foreword by: Kirsten Bowen

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.


Jordan Tannahill

Jordan Tannahill is a Toronto-based playwright, director, and filmmaker. Through his company Suburban Beast, he has developed and presented plays at theatres including Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage, Theatre Passe Muraille, and the Theatre Centre. Jordan is the 2011 recipient of the Inside Out Film Festival’s Emerging Canadian Artist Award, the 2011 Ken McDougall Award for Emerging Directors, and the 2012 Enbridge playRites Award. He runs a storefront theatre called Videofag in Toronto’s Kensington Market with his partner William.


Kirsten Bowen

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.


“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.”

“Tannahill’s work is witty, sexy, and audacious, with a strong emotional core.”

“The best new Canadian play of the year.”


  • Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best New Canadian Play 2016, Winner
  • Governor General’s Literary Award 2018, Winner
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    224 Pages
    8.40in * 5.20in * .70in


    September 17, 2018



    9781770919204 – MobiPocket

    9781770919198 – EPUB

    9781770919181 – PDF

    Book Subjects:

    DRAMA / Canadian

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