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Some drama for San Diego: celebrate San Diego’s thriving theater community at the 13th annual Patté Awards for Theater Excellence

(SAN DIEGO) San Diego holds a prominent place on the national theater map. Every January the profile gets a little higher, thanks to one energetic, dedicated local theater critic. For the 13th year, Emmy Award-winner Pat Launer will host the Emmy Award-nominated Patté Awards for theater excellence, celebrating the best of the best in San Diego Theater.

One of the most highly-anticipated theater and social events of the year, the Patté Awards features stellar theatrical entertainment and plenty of passion, drama and comedy. Attendees include a wide array of local theater makers, theater-lovers, patrons, board members, business leaders and the social elite. This is a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with the established stars and the emerging talents that give our theater community national renown.

What began as a small community gathering a dozen years ago has blossomed into an exhilarating, entertaining and enlightening evening. The event is hosted by the ebullient Launer, who has been San Diego’s only regular broadcast theater critic for the past 25 years. The gala celebration, which features an impressive array of culinary, visual and aural delights, will be televised on Channel 4 San Diego. It all starts with a meet-and-greet, followed by a plated, sit-down dinner, awards presentation and exciting entertainment from musical theater productions over the past year.

What sets the Pattés apart from other award shows is that they’re strictly for San Diegans. In addition to presenting 30 awards to honor local theater makers, Launer celebrates the next generation of creative theater artists with The Dea and Osborn Hurston Award for ‘Promising Young Theater Maker’ scholarship (presented in honor of Dr. Floyd Gaffney, the father of African American Theater in San Diego).

The scholarships will be presented to three students from the Preuss School, which is dedicated to providing a rigorous college prep education for low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college. The applicants’ written essays are responses to a series of questions about theater and the importance of the arts in their education and their lives. The essays will be read by a panel of theater professionals who will pick one winner and two honorary mention awardees. They will be presented with an award certificate and a check, as well as pairs of tickets to various theaters around the county, to be used throughout the year. The primary winner will blog on The Patté Awards website about his/her theatergoing experiences.

The event will be held on Monday, January 18, at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter between 5:30 and 10p.m. Tickets may be purchased individually or by the table.