Posts by Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation

Broadway in the Badlands 

All of the shows playing in Medora’s Old Town Hall Theater this summer, fall and winter season

(Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation is excited to announce the shows visitors can look forward to this season at the Old Town Hall Theater, in downtown Medora.

This summer the Old Town Hall Theater will be host to four shows playing all week long.


Four of Medora’s Favorite Elvis Songs

We’re big country music fans out here in Medora!


What with giving Cowboy Lyle his own candy store and all that boot-scoot-boogin and two-steppin that goes on after dark at the local watering holes.



As anyone who’s seen the Medora Musical would tell you, we love putting on a show!

And no one had a flair for showmanship more than our founder, Harold Schafer.


Why did you know that the featured act section of the Medora Musical is partly inspired by vaudeville acts Harold would go to see in Las Vegas.


So when we had the chance to book The King of Vegas for a one-night, intimate concert at the Old Town Hall Theater, we got “All Shook Up” and cried “Explore it. Adore it. — “Viva Las Vegas!


Below are four songs we can’t wait to see performed by the world’s most authentic Elvis Repriser, Chris MacDonald! You can book your package for this intimate, exclusive concert at


2018 Medora Musical Auditions Begin Saturday

Auditions to be held in Bismarck, Fargo, Minneapolis, and Memphis

(Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, in conjunction with StageWest Entertainment, is pleased to announce auditions for the 2018 Season of the Medora Musical are set to begin this weekend.


Performers interested in trying out for the Burning Hills Singers and Coal Diggers Band are welcome and encouraged to attend one of the auditions hosted at the dates and times below.


Members of the media are welcome at audition venues. Representatives from StageWest Entertainment — several of whom have also been cast members themselves — and auditionees, will be available for questions and comments.


~ January 20
Bismarck, ND at the Lynne Center, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, at 2:00pm


~ January 21
Fargo, ND, at the Buxton Choral  Rehearsal Hall within the Hvidsten Hall of Music, Concordia College, at 1:00pm


~ January 22
St. Paul, MN, at North Garden Theatre, at 7:00pm


~ February 2 – 5
Memphis, TN, at Playhouse on the Square. Auditionees must be registered with United Professional Theatre Auditions (UPTA)*

*All auditions except UPTA are first come, first served.



The professional cast of each season’s Medora Musical hails from all across the nation – with talented members of the cast often coming from the Show’s home state of North Dakota.


Each year over 1,000 performers audition for the show and each year’s cast is different than the previous.


Over the course of it’s 53 year history, the Medora Musical’s professional cast has been made up of a mixture of performers and musicians who have traveled the world performing on cruise lines, who’ve starred in Broadway productions, appeared on hit TV shows like TheVoice and even those who’ve launched their career in Medora and went on to enjoy an extremely successful career in entertainment.


Singers, dancers and musicians are required to prepare an up tempo and a ballad for the audition. Prospective performers should also bring sheet music in the correct key, a resume, and an 8×10 photo.


Audio and stage technicians can email resumes to Tricia Hofeld at:

Pre-audition contact: Justin Fisk, 701-340-3183
Day-of and performer contact: Curt Wollan, Producer/Director

Spur Your Inner Artist with Drawing & Watercolor

Experience a creative vacation in Medora this winter!

This event has been cancelled.


We will be holding another Spur Your Inner Artist  June 5 – 8, 2018.


More details to come soon!


Join Barbara Benda Nagle, professional artist and instructor as she teaches “Spur Your Inner Artist with Drawing and Watercolor” workshop February 12-15th.  A native of Wahpeton, ND, Barbara excels in simplifying art concepts so all levels of learners may succeed.


In this 4-day workshop, you will learn:

  • How to execute a variety of drawing and watercolor techniques
  • How to make sense of the color wheel and use it to your advantage
  • How to use “value” (lights and darks) to make paintings dramatic
  • How to design your painting rather than copy photographs
  • How to create strong, dynamic compositions


This workshop takes place in the state-of-the-art Bill and Jane Marcil Life Skills Center in Medora.  Class size is limited – the first 15 registrants will secure a spot.  Payment options vary from workshop only to the popular Stay and Paint package, which includes lodging at the historic Rough Rider Hotel.


For more details, please visit or call 701-610-9529.


To book your spot, please call


For more information about Barbara’s teaching philosophy, please visit

Barbara Benda Nagle with her “Portrait of Big Pappy”


A Magical Medora Christmas Tour Dates and Times

Four past and present Medora performers will entertain audiences during 28 shows, in 22 communities, across 4 states this Nov. & Dec.


The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) is pleased to announce that A Magical Medora Christmas variety show will tour this holiday season across North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota.


The family-friendly Christmas show will feature the musical talents of Emily Walter, Jared Mason, and Job Christenson, as well as the comedy and magic of Bill Sorensen.

Read on to see see tour dates and times!


Medora to Unveil Life-Size Theodore Roosevelt Statue

(MEDORA, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation(TRMF) announced today that a bronze, life-size statue of Theodore Roosevelt will be unveiled in downtown Medora on Friday, October 27, to honor President Roosevelt, who was born on the same day in 1858.


A Press Conference and Statue Unveiling will be held:

  • Friday, October 27
  • 11:30am MDT
  • Downtown Medora, in front of the Old Town Hall Theater


Members of the public and media are invited to join the event to see the unveiling, hear remarks, and take photos with the life-size statue.  READ MORE »

The Shooting of Riley Luffsey

This is an expert from local Medora author, Rolff Sletten’s book, Medora: Boom, Bust, and Resurrection. It goes into detail on the shooting of Cowboy, Riley Luffsey.


The sheriff responded by sending a posse which has been variously described as including from three to twenty men.

“The actual number matters little in light of the posse’s feeble response. Unfortunately the sheriff put his much weaker brother, Henry Harmon, in charge of the posse. Harmon and his posse boarded the westbound train in Mandan. When they arrived in Little Missouri (the depot had not yet been built in Medora), they confronted the three hunters and told O’Donald he was under arrest. O’Donald, Wannigan, and Luffsey simply laughed at the timid deputy and rode away.


The three hunters rode west from the Little Missouri depot until they reached a spot about three-fourths of a mile straight west of today’s Little Missouri River bridge. there they encountered the Marquis de Mores and four of his employees.


Who fired first will never be known with certainty, as both sides adamantly blamed the other. But when the smoke drifted away, William Riley Luffsey, the twenty-four-year-old buffalo hunter from Missouri, was forever dead.”


Learn more about Medora’s spooky history during the 2nd Annual Wild West Fright Fest on October 27 and 28. Get more details here.

Medora’s Fall and Winter events

October 27 – 28: Second Annual Medora’s Wild West Fright Fest

Hay rides, trick or treating, and a haunted house will be waiting for guests in Medora. Dinner, haunted house tickets, and lodging packages are available at

November 17: Wine and Dine – A Theodore’s Dining Room Event

Featuring special guest Sommelier, Dominuque Juliani, this exclusive, Italian themed event at Theodore’s Dining Room and the Historic Rough Riders Hotel gives guests the chance to experience wine and food native to Italy in the unmatched setting of the Badlands.

Experience and lodging packages are available at


Medora Announces 2017 Scholarship & Ambassador Award Winners

39 employees receive scholarships & awards, totaling $30,500

(MEDORA, ND) Today the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation(TRMF) announced the names of 39 employees, from 12 states and 4 countries, who were awarded 2017 scholarships and ambassador awards.


The scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $1,500, are awarded annually through the Tjaden Education Assistance Program, named after the late TRMF President, Rod Tjaden. Scholarships go to employees currently pursuing undergraduate degrees. The ten, $500 TRMF ambassador awards are given to graduate students or non-college student TRMF employees. READ MORE »

Annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival to Be Held at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora

MEDORA, ND: Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the town of Historic Medora invite inquiring minds of all ages to attend the fifth annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival Friday, September 15 through Sunday, September 17. Join park rangers, astronomers, and space enthusiasts of all types to celebrate North Dakota’s beautiful night skies.


“People have been marveling at the night skies for millennia,” said Chief of Interpretation Eileen Andes. “Dakota Nights celebrates the beauty and fragility of this awe-inspiring resource and makes it accessible and fun for people of all ages. READ MORE »