Canadian Stage’s 2015/16 season will include a collaboration between Jordan Tannahill and ballet-choreographer-turned-theatre-director Matjash Mrozewski. Commissioned to write two one-act plays staged back to back, Tannahill’s gone classical. Botticelli in the Fire is a retelling of one chapter in the life of the queer Renaissance painter, when Botticelli is accused of being a “sodomite.” Sunday in Sodom moves further back in time, reimagining the story of Lot’s wife (the woman turned into a pillar of salt when she looks back at God’s destruction of Sodom). In this version, instead of God destroying her village, it’s American drone strikes.
Mrozewski will direct one of the plays alongside new Torontonian Estelle Shook.
We caught up with Tannahill and Mrozewski to talk about their fledging friendship and their leap into the unknown.
This will be your first time working together. What do you know about each other’s work?
Tannahill: I haven’t seen any of Matjash’s work, unfortunately. But I have a feeling his choreographic sensibilities will be ideally suited for this piece.
Mrozewski: I’ve also never seen anything Jordan’s made, though since he friended me on Facebook a while ago, I’ve been aware of the stream of accolades that follow him around. I haven’t actually even read a draft of the plays yet, but I trust he’s going to give me something great to work with.
Working at Canadian Stage is new for both of you. What are your hopes and dreams for the process?
Tannahill: This is the most thrilling and terrifying challenge in my career. It’s the largest and highest profile production of my work to date. With that comes both the opportunity to very clearly articulate my artistic voice and also to fail spectacularly. But I’m excited. I feel in very good hands.
Mrozewski: I spent over two decades of my life in dance before I started working in theatre, so everything feels really new for me all over again. I’m excited, but I also have no idea what’s going to happen. Anything I can say about the process is just a guess.