Medora to Host First Ever Meeting of Theodore Roosevelt Re-enactors

Six “Teddies” and one Mrs. Roosevelt to be featured in performances throughout the day, Wednesday, August 6.

(MEDORA, ND) – The actor James Whitmore portrayed Theodore Roosevelt in the play “Bully!” on Broadway. Actors Brian Keith, Tom Berenger, and Robin Williams have played TR in film. North Dakota humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson has rivaled his own Thomas Jefferson with his version of TR.

Medora, North Dakota, is one of the many places where an actor or re-enactor has been known to portray Teddy Roosevelt, so it is more than fitting that Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation are playing host to the first ever “Gathering of TR’s”, a performance review and conference featuring six Theodore Roosevelts and one Edith Roosevelt, TR’s second wife and First Lady of the Nation. The gathering is slated for Wednesday, August 6, Mrs. Roosevelt’s 153rd birthday.

A Gathering of TRs

Featured that afternoon, among other activities, will be Mr. Marty Jonason, a professional acting coach from Fargo, North Dakota. He is believed to be the last surviving man to have portrayed TR in the original show “Old Four Eyes,” which preceded the Medora Musical. Mr. Jonason also played TR in Medora in 1964.

One $10 ticket to a “TR Salute to Medora” will be good for the entire day of performances to be held at the Old Town Hall Theater (OTHT) in downtown Medora. All Events 10:30AM – 5:45PM – Mountain Daylight  Time – at OTHT unless otherwise noted.

Performances schedule as follows:

10:30 AM – Morning Prayer & Thanksgiving for Mrs. Roosevelt’s Birthday (No charge) – Episcopal BCP – Hymn Singing – $10 ticket good all day for all events at OTHT.

11:00 AMNoon – Theodore & Edith Roosevelt – Portrayed by Larry & Julia Marple – South Charleston, Ohio.

12 Noon1:30 PM – Luncheon – Chuck Wagon Patio – Happy Birthday Sheet Cake – Refreshments.

1:30 – 2:15 PM – Program – Marty Jonason – Fargo, North Dakota – “Old Four Eyes” and Panel: Mr. Jonason and Valerie Naylor – Superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and (tentative) Sharon Kilzer, Program Manager of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University.

2:15 – 2:30 PM – “A Splendid Little War” – Col. Theodore Roosevelt by William Dietzler – Alexandria, Minnesota.

2:30 – 3:15 PM – TR & North Dakota History in Sketches – Steve Stark – Fargo, North Dakota as TR.


3:30 – 4:30 PM – A TR Salute to Medora – Joe Wiegand – Solana Beach, California – as TR.

4:45 PM – TR in 1911 – Arch Ellwein – Sidney, Montana – as TR.

5:50 – 6:10 PM – The TRs serenade Edith – “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” – Chuck Wagon Patio – Lowering of Flags.

6:20 – 7:00 PM – Edith & the TRs at Pitch Fork Steak Fondue – Tjaden Terrace – scattered seating.

7:15 – 9:30 PM – Edith & the TRs attend Medora Musical – introduced to the audience – serenade Edith – Burning Hills Amphitheater.

TR re-enactors have long held conversations about gathering to discuss their craft and share their experiences and insight. Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation are assisting to make this idea a reality by providing the visiting TR’s with lodging and meals during the gathering.

“Part of our vision is that if anyone in the world thinks about Theodore Roosevelt, they will naturally also think of TR’s life in the Badlands. Our efforts in Medora and the efforts of Dickinson State University are helping people appreciate North Dakota’s important role in TR’s life,” says Randy Hatzenbuhler, President of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

Hatzenbuhler goes on to say, “In Medora, we believe that any actor or re-enactor who portrays Theodore Roosevelt anywhere in the country should come here to the Badlands to get some of the Little Missouri River in his veins. We are pleased to be able to share each of these talented portrayals with our guests in Medora, and happy to support these actors and re-enactors in their important work.”

Wiegand, Medora’s TR, says the coming together of TR re-enactors is just the beginning of a greater movement in his craft. “In the coming years, we will celebrate the centennial of the United States Park Service and observe the centennial of World War One.

Keeping history alive and celebrating the life and legacy of Theodore Roosevelt is important work, and there’s plenty of work in this great big country for lots of talented TRs. We are hoping in 2015 to gather as many as two dozen TR re-enactors here in Medora for another combined conference and performance celebration.”

Edith and her six Teddies will receive a featured introduction at the Medora Musical at 7:30pm MDT. All will be available after the show to take pictures with attendees. Information for TR events and the Medora Musial, on August 6, is available at 1-800-MEDORA-1 or

For more event information contact Joe Wiegand at 847-373-0691 or email


  1. Jim Thompson
    August 24, 2014    

    Originally I am from Spearfish, S.D. My grandfather, David Thompson was a member of Roosevelt’s cowboys and attended TR’s inauguration in D.C. We have an inaugural ribbon from the ceremony with all the names of the cowboys attached

  2. August 25, 2014    

    That is truly incredible!

  3. December 19, 2014    

    Tree-mendous, Mr. Thompson. That famed contingent of cowboys was lead by TR’s buddy since circa 1884 Seth Bullock and the future cowboy film actor Tom Mix, who married a Medora girl. Your ribbon and the stories of the cowboy adventures in Washington, DC are to be treasured. Hope to see you in Medora. TR Joe

Leave a Reply