Amanda Marie Staats, 43, passed away November 22, 2018, at Grace Medical Center in Lubbock, TX, from complications due to recent surgery. She was born November 15, 1975, to Robert and Diane (Wessel) Staats in Garden City, KS.
Amanda graduated from Garden City High School (1994) and attended Garden City Community College, receiving an Associate's of Art. She then transferred to the University of Kansas, receiving her Bachelor's of Fine Arts in 1999. Amanda worked for two years at Portland Stage Company as House/Properties Manager, before continuing her education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, earning a Master's of Fine Arts in Costume Technology in May 2005. While in college, Amanda spent her summers as the Technical Director for Over the Wall Theater at Tripp Lake Camp, Poland, ME.
After graduating with her MFA, Amanda pursued her passion and love for theater and costume technology all over the United States, working in NYC at Eric Winterling, Inc., as a Draper and Craftsperson, building costumes for various Broadway productions and touring groups. In New Jersey, she worked at the Paper Mill Playhouse as a Draper as well. Amanda spent a season as a stitcher at the Santa Fe Opera House in Santa Fe, NM. During her time in the costume technology industry, she also did work for the Chicago Lyric Opera as a freelance milliner. Amanda also spent time in the Cincinnati, OH, area doing costume work for the Costume Gallery and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Amanda took a short break from the theater world to work at Gere’s Inc. as Chief Child Wrangler and Executive Assistant. She then returned full time to work at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, in 2012 as the Costume Shop Supervisor in the School of Theater and Dance.
Amanda is survived by her parents, Bob and Diane Staats, Garden City, KS; her sisters, Nathalie (Jonathan) Higerd; and nephews/nieces Wyatt, Veronica, Yvette and Jesse of Gem, KS, Crystal (Scott) Blanton, Joplin, MO, Alicia (Tim) Staats-Murry and nephew Cameron of Wichita, KS, Vanessa Staats and nephew Quinton Berend, Scott City, KS, and Leah (Brandon) Meeks of Manhattan, KS; and grandmother, Elizabeth Shaffer, Garden City, KS.
She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Ambrose Wessel; grandparents, Frank and Gloria Staats; and infant sister, Amber Staats.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to High Plains Public Radio (Garden City, KS), Ginger Blessings (Lubbock, TX), the ACLU, or Planned Parenthood.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. at the Charles E. Maedgen, Jr. University Theatre, Lubbock, TX, with a reception to follow. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Garden City, KS.