After 20 years of seclusion in Milan, Leonardo da Vinci returns with his assistant Salai to his native Florence in hopes of rebuilding his reputation and coffers thanks to lucrative commissions from the Gonfaloniere Piero Soderini. Unfortunately, he quickly learns he is returning to a city that has not yet finished whispering accusations of his being a sodomite and ruled by a leader more interested in using da Vinci to pursue his own military ends than inspiring da Vinci’s art. Leonardo finds himself in battle not only against his own emotional and physical desires, but also with the upstart Michelangelo Buonarotti – a sculptor whose ego is only surpassed by his genius, and whom Soderini matches against da Vinci in an artistic battle for the hearts of the Florentine people. In order to maintain propriety, da Vinci shuns Salai’s romantic advances, causing a rift between the two that Michelangelo is quick to take advantage of in his pursuit of being declared the greatest artist in the world. Life, art and deception then fold in on themselves as these three men struggle with each other and their own inner demons to find their worth as artists, lovers and men.
Ned Massey is a songwriter, book-writer, actor, indie-theatre director/producer, and music producer. Ned’s latest musical, The Battles, just completed a week-long developmental residency at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival’s “The Pitch” series. His musical, Four Messages, had a three-week at Theatre Row on 42nd Street. That production, which was directed by Mr. Massey, was nominated for two New York Innovative Theater Awards: “Best Production of a Musical,” and “Best Original Music.” A review by Molly Marinek described the show as “ A new autobiographical musical…bursting with sincerity and filled with many beautiful melodies.” An earlier version of the show, Blood Ties, was produced at the 2006 Fringe and the 2010 NYMF. Ned attended the 1st year BMI Lehman Engle Musical Theater Writing Workshop and graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with an Interdisciplinary Honors degree in Creative Writing, Literature, and Theater. As an actor, Ned has performed off-Broadway, off-off Broadway, and at regional theaters such as the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, and principal roles in numerous indie films and prime-time network TV shows. And you may have heard Ned’s voice on numerous national commercials. Ned also wrote, directed, and produced a short film, “Katie, Bar The Door,” which appeared in film festivals across the United States. In an earlier portion of his life, he was a singer/songwriter who won a lot of awards as a songwriter and performer, and toured all over the US in support of his music. For more information, check out his website, here!
SCRIPT AND MATERIALS
To read The Battles, click here!
To listen to the music, click here.
To view a promo video, click here.
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