Posts by Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation

Ask President Roosevelt

“Ask President Roosevelt” is a feature of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Member Newsletter, the Rough Riders Review. For five summers, veteran TR repriser, historian, and actor Joe Wiegand has brought Theodore Roosevelt to life on the matinee stage at Medora’s Old Town Hall Theater. During the off-season, Joe travels the country as TR, representing the Medora Foundation. As part of every performance, in character as TR, Wiegand takes questions from the audience.

 

Q: How did you spend your winter, Colonel Roosevelt? Any big plans for the summer ahead?

A: Like so many of you, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays spent with family were the most special occasions. Of course, I toured the country, performing for audiences from Portland, Oregon to Saranac Lake, New  York. Like many a North Dakotan, the winter found me in Florida, Arizona, and Southern California, where thousands of Medora Musical fans follow the migratory fowl.

Traveling the country and telling people about Medora and the beautiful Badlands of North Dakota is a real honor and pleasure, READ MORE »

Greg Butler Steps Up Once Again

The Elkhorn Quarters $1 Million Match Challenge

There’s a brand new Medora lodging facility awaiting our guests this summer!

The Elkhorn Quarters, our new motel and seasonal staff housing complex, has replaced the old Bunkhouse trailers, and a big reason for that is the generosity of our longtime supporter Greg Butler of Fargo.

 

 

READ MORE »

Summers in Medora, On The Maah Daah Hey Trail

Summers in Medora, On The Maah Daah Hey Trail

A couple of Bismarck friends  were out bicycling on the Maah Daah Hey Trail, just south of Medora, one hot summer afternoon when they noticed a sign that said “Lots For Sale.” The billboard was advertising locations for Badlands homes being offered by TRMF in the Sully Creek Subdivision. A lightbulb came on.

 

“We got this crazy idea to build a cabin,”

 

Kyle Leftwich said, and the pair, Kyle and his friend Kadon Hintz, went to visit TRMF President Randy Hatzenbuhler, and the next thing they knew they were framing up a summer getaway home in the Badlands. READ MORE »

TRMF President, Hatzenbuhler: “I am all-in for Reese”

Last summer in Medora, I told my wife, Laurie, “I am all in for Reese”.

Reese is our 4 ½-year-old grand-daughter. Laurie’s 33-year career in healthcare ended early in 2017. It was a transition for her, us – actually, it only took her 15 minutes to get used to retirement! Leading up to the summer season, the big question was whether she would spend the whole summer in Medora, or just weekends. Grand-children were a very important part of the decision. We are blessed to have our children and grandchildren living nearby. READ MORE »

Become an Annual Member Today!

Like Teddy’s original Rough Riders, Annual Members move the line forward each year to make Medora better for current and future generations. 

 

The TRMF Annual Member program began a few years ago to bring our frequent visitors and best friends into a group that met once a year at the annual Rough Riders Roundup, talk about the future of Medora, and help support the day-to-day activities necessary to provide all our guests a great getaway experience.

 

 

My, how it’s grown! Now, 800-strong, our Annual Members add value to Medora in so many ways: READ MORE »

Harold Schafer, Legend to Legacy

Under Harold’s Hat

Originally published in Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundations 2015 summer newsletter.

Harold Schafer, Legend to Legacy

 

“I liked to go to musicals. When we took over the show, it was a historical play, and I think I should say I have a deeper appreciation for entertainment than historical plays.” 
– Harold Schafer

Biographer Larry Woiwode, received this answer in 1994, when asked about the beginning of the “Medora Musical.” Prior to 1965, the NDSU Theater Department and a local group had been putting on a historical drama, but crowds had dwindled to the point where the show was abandoned. 50 years later, more than three million visitors agree with Harold—they love being musically entertained under the stars in the Burning Hills Amphitheatre. READ MORE »

Who will be our 2018 Burning Hills Singers!?

Who will be our 2018 Burning Hills Singers!?

This weekend two of North Dakota’s largest cities were full of singin’ and boot swingin’ for performers auditioning to be part of this summer’s Medora Musical.

Producer/Director, Curt Wollan, of StageWest Entertainment, kicked off the audition tour in Bismarck and Fargo, giving North Dakota natives a chance to audition for the show, which entertains over 100,000 people per summer and has welcomed over 4 Million guests since 1965.

Each year around 1,000 singers and dancers from around the country audition for the Medora Musical. Performers who are selected bring exceptional vocals, energetic dancing and big personalities to the show.

That’s why, finding talent right here in our own backyard deserves a good ‘ol hoot and hollar!

A number of North Dakota natives who’ve made the cast over the years, have then gone on to very successful careers in the music and performing industries. Often, they credit their time performing alongside the rest of the all-professional cast of the Medora Musical as a shaping experience — one that showed them the hard work, ever-improving talent, and perseverance needed to be successful in the business.

Some of the best-known success stories of North Dakota cast members include,
Jared “Yodel Boy” Mason, who went on to star on Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet, Stomp! and other shows, and of course, most recently, Scranton’s own, Kat Perkins, went on to be a finalist on NBC’s The Voice after a five-year run as a Burning Hills Singer.

And these are just two of the stories of performers who got their start at an audition for the Medora Musical.

The Bismarck auditions brought out a good, talented group — and the performers had a lot to say! Check it out.

It was great to see previous Burning Hills Singer, Taylor Leet come out and support performers. Check out the tips Taylor shared!

Former Burning Hills Singer and current Medora Musical choreographer, Lexie Wollan, teaches the steps to a 2015 Medora Musical number.

Bis Aud 1.jpg

Fargo auditions on Sunday attracted a lot of young talent. Two performers, featured below, attended Kat Perkin’s, Rising Star camp in Medora last summer!

The Medora Musical attracts top-level talent from around the nation. (Sometimes folks have to be told where, exactly, Medora is, but we kind of enjoy their surprise when they arrive for the first time!) The show has a great reputation and the production team is lucky to have create the show with so many stars over the years.

It draws performers like the aforementioned, Jared Mason and Kat Perkins. People like Tom Netherton, and David Soul, who after performing in the Medora Musical went on to star in the original Starsky and Hutch. And globe-trotting professional performers like our own “Queen of the West,” Emily Walter, current host of the Medora Musical, Chet Wollan and his wife, Candice Lively-Wollan, whose talent and professionalism serve as a guide for younger cast members each year — some of whom came out of these Bismarck and Fargo auditions.

We don’t know who will fill the boots of this year’s cast quite yet, but whatever the final roster is, based on what we saw at auditions so far and the history of Medora Musical talent, they’re sure to be EXCELLENT and they’re sure to help put on an INCREDIBLE show.

We’ll see you there. Don’t forget the popcorn. 😉

Additional audition stops include St. Paul, MN, on Jan 22, and Memphis, TN, in early February.

This year’s Medora Musical opens June 1, and tickets go on-sale in April. Mark your calendars and start planning your trip to see the Greatest Show in the West!

See you in Medora!

Subscribe