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SDSU and La Jolla Playhouse Collaborate on New Musical ON THE EVE; Reading Set for 11/19

The MFA Musical Theatre Program at San Diego State University is once again teaming up with La Jolla Playhouse to develop a new musical, following up on their collaboration on the reading of BD Wong's new musical MR. DOCTOR last February. This year, after a competitive selection process, the musical ON THE EVE has been chosen for a public staged reading at SDSU on November 19, 2015 at 6:30pm in the Experimental Theatre.

ON THE EVE is the creation of Seth Magill, Shawn Magill, and Michael Federico with a book by Michael Federico and lyrics and music by Seth Magill and Shawn Magill of the indie rock band, Home by Hovercraft. SDSU Professor Stephen Brotebeck will direct the reading and Professor Robert Meffe will provide musical direction.

ON THE EVE was first produced in a staged-reading workshop in 2011, advancing to a ten-show production at Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas in 2012, earning year-end best mentions by D Magazine, Theatre Jones, Dallas Voice, and Dallas Observer. The 2013 DFW Theatre Critics Forum awarded it Best New Play or Musical, and Best Creative Contribution for Score. In 2014, a 23-show professional premiere production was held at Theatre Three Dallas, reaching 2014 year-end best lists for D Magazine and Dallas Culture Map and receiving The Column Awards' 2014 Steve Lovett Award for Outstanding New Work by a Local Playwright. One the Eve will arrive at SDSU following a presentation at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival Of New Musicals in New York City.

As bombs explode outside, a theatre company staves off impending apocalyptic doom by performing a sci-fi musical about Marie Antoinette's first time-traveling hot air balloon. As the dictatorial Talking Man turns the story into a celebration of stereotypes, the company fights back. Soon the play bleeds into reality, reviving hope for survival.

Michael Federico has worked as a playwright and actor in Dallas, Chicago, and Austin. Along with ON THE EVE, his produced plays include Talent Show 1989, Ben Franklin: A Metal Opera (co-written with Cameron Cobb & Spencer Driggers), and Propaganda! His cosplay/dance-club version of Faust (co-written with Jeffrey Schmidt) premieres in Dallas, this October. He has served as an Artistic Company Member of Dallas's Kitchen Dog Theater since 2007, and is a recipient of multiple Dallas/Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum Awards both as a playwright and actor.

Shawn Magill has recently worked as composer and executive music producer for feature film Sunny In The Dark, as music director for A Christmas Carol at The Dallas Theater Center, as composer/sound designer for Nocturne at Second Thought Dallas, and as composer/producer for her solo-piano album, The Imaginations of Man. Shawn is a co-founder of indie-rock band Home By Hovercraft, whose nationally acclaimed LP Are We Chameleons? features music from On The Eve. The DFW Theatre Critics Forum awarded her honors as playwright and composer/performer for On The Eve. Shawn serves as Director of Product at Chideo, The Charity Network.

Seth Magill is a co-founder of indie-rock band Home By Hovercraft, whose nationally acclaimed LP Are We Chameleons? features music from On The Eve. Seth received DFW Theatre Critics awards as a playwright and actor for his work in On The Eve. A member of the Actor's Equity Association, Seth was last seen as Fred in The Dallas Theater Center's production of A Christmas Carol, as Chase Spacegrove in On The Eve at Theatre Three Dallas, and many memorable roles with Dallas Children's Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater and Shakespeare Dallas. He has his B.F.A. in Acting from Southern Methodist University.

The SDSU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Musical Theatre in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film has helped hundreds of people establish life-long careers as musical theatre artists. Many of our graduates have used this terminal degree to teach in musical theatre programs in schools and universities worldwide. Others have gone on to become professional performers, directors, choreographers, music directors, producers, casting agents, and writers.

At SDSU we strive to bring the professional world of musical theatre together with the academic world of the university. Our students bring their professional experience to us, and together we develop the skills needed to carry it forward.

This program, which began accepting students in 1982, is unique in its integration of performance training with academic study. It is a two-year MFA program designed so that students can complete 60 units of study in four consecutive 15-week semesters, with one summer break, during which students complete a theatre internship.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions, including BD Wong, Daniel Beaty and Kirsten Greenidge. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who's Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of the Playhouse's Page To Stage Program. Visit

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 35,000 students. The university offers bachelor's degrees in 94 areas, master's degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university's rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit

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