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Christine Rottler was a familiar face in the wardrobe room at Ballet Arts Center in Farmington from August to December each year — for a number of years.

Chris — as she was know — served on the board of the Young People's Performing Arts Theatre. For many years, she served as the Head Wardrobe Mistress for the organization’s "Nutcracker" and “A Merry Christmas Show” productions.

Chris died on Dec. 15, 2016. Those who knew Chris say she treasured her role in the company as much as she loved the Christmas season.

Her fellow board members of the Young People's Performing Arts Theatre are honoring her legacy of helping others with the Christine Rottler Memorial Grant.

Rob Baker of the St. Francois County Community Partnership accepted the $1,000 donation for Season of Hope on behalf of the board.

Kimberly Gavin Anderson, artistic director for YPPAT, took a few moments during rehearsals for “A Merry Christmas Show” on Sunday to share about the grant and the reason for the board's decision.

Speaking to the cast gathered in the auditorium of the Centene Center, the director said Chris’ involvement with the organization began through her daughter, Sarah.

“This organization was founded to move the young people in this community through the theater experience,” Anderson said, “and long after Sarah graduated from her time dancing at the Ballet Arts Center and her time in (YPPAT), Chris Rottler stayed on and her motto … her inspiration was it was always about the children.

“She was doing the work for the children.”

Gavin Anderson explained the board decided to designate an annual gift to programs helping the youth in the community as a way to continue Chris’ vested work. This year’s gift to the partnership will aid the Season of Hope program.

On hand for the presentation were Chris’ husband, Steve and their daughter, Sarah — who, like her mother, is working with the wardrobe for this year’s show.

On Friday, the production Chris was so passionate about the first time four years ago takes the stage on Friday and Saturday at the Centene Center.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Reserved seat tickets are $13 each and can be purchased at the Farmington Civic Center.

Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or


Farmington Press Managing Editor

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