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Patté Awards Applaud UCSD Theater Artists

By Inga Kiderra I January 17, 2006

Professor Emeritus Floyd Gaffney receives the Shiley Lifetime Achievement Award from KPBS theater critic Pat Launer at the ninth annual Patté Awards for Theater Excellence. Photo Credit: KPBS

The Department of Theatre and Dance picked up a heaping portion of Pattés at the ninth annual Patté Awards for Theater Excellence. Three students, three alumni and two faculty members were feted at the 2005 ceremony, held at the KPBS Copley Telecommunications Center on Jan. 9.

Created and hosted by KPBS theater critic Pat Launer, the awards salute San Diego-area theater artists for their dramatic achievements (and remind them that they're "not chopped liver").

Professor Emeritus Floyd Gaffney was honored with a Shiley Lifetime Achievement Award for 35 inspirational years of "galvanizing the community with socially relevant theater" and "bringing new voices to San Diego stages," Launer said.

Gaffney - who began teaching at UCSD in 1971 and was one of the theater department's founding faculty - has directed nearly 80 productions for Southeast Community Theatre, San Diego's oldest African-American troupe. Taking over the artistic reins in 2004, Gaffney renamed the group Common Ground Theater to better reflect its grass-roots, cross-cultural mission.

The UCSD production of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man garnered awards for two MFA students: Jedediah Ike was cited for Outstanding Scenic Design and Joseph Ward for Outstanding Direction. Ike, Launer said, created "a moveable feast for the eyes," and Ward has "proven himself to be a fearless, meticulous and dazzling director."

MFA student Michelle Hunt won a Patté for Outstanding Costume Design for her work on productions at the Moxie and Diversionary theaters.

Alumni were well represented among the winners as well, with M. Scott Grabau (MFA '03) in the sound design category, Jennifer Setlow (MFA '02) in lighting design and Monique Gaffney (BA '93) in performance.

Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale at the Old Globe - directed by Darko Tresnjak, acting head of directing at UCSD - was named one of the year's Outstanding Productions. Launer described Tresnjak as "visionary."

If you missed the ceremony or its Jan. 15 broadcast on KPBS-TV, you can still view the awards show online. Video at

A full list of the 2005 Patté winners is available at

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