Posts tagged Medora Musical

Schafer, Hatzenbuhler: A Thanksgiving Like None Other

Every organization and community faced the pandemic challenges of 2020; few can feel as fortunate as the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF). Thanksgiving for Medora and TRMF have a historic dimension this year.

First, there is the remarkable announcement from the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation that they have achieved their first milestone goal of securing $100 million in private commitments to build the Library near Medora. Congratulations to them! Our team continues to work with the Library Foundation in many ways, and we’re thankful for their effort to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to North Dakota.

Check out for the latest news from the Library folks.

Not being able to open for the season in 2020 was a very real possibility. It would have been understandable. We are thankful for a board that had the confidence and courage to operate. In spite of challenges, 2020 was incredibly rewarding. 

We are thankful for our customers. They came to Medora and they raised our spirits with comments, cards, letters, emails, texts and phone calls telling us how important it was for them to be in the Badlands – and that Medora and the Musical made them feel positive about their state, their country, and life.

We are fortunate that the Medora Musical, the Pitchfork Fondue, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and the Bully Pulpit Golf Course are in peaceful and spacious outdoor settings. Guests felt safe.

We changed the way we operated to go beyond state and CDC recommendations. Guidelines would have allowed for 75% capacity; we limited our Medora Musical capacity to 45%. Our cast and crew put on two shows for most Saturdays and Sundays so that we kept capacity low and met demand.

We are thankful for the results and the people who made them possible. We achieved about 80% of a “normal” year’s visitation.

We are thankful for our volunteers – there is no way we would have made it without them – and thankful for our many partners who all pitched in to do things differently in this very unusual year.

Medora provided a needed place for recreation and entertainment. It is a privilege to be part of an organization that believed in its vision, “to connect people to Historic Medora for positive, life-changing experiences.” We are deeply thankful for our generous donors and members who encouraged and supported us as we strove to live up to that vision.

Please check out to become a 2021 member or learn more about TRMF.   

One of the most rewarding comments of the year was also one of the shortest: a simple, hand-written message on a sticky note that read, “Thanks for being tough, when it’s tough.” We’re thankful we had the chance to work hard, to be tough, to find new ways to do something good for North Dakota this summer. We’ll keep working to be ready for 2021, too. For that we’re thankful.

We wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.

Ed Schafer
TRMF Chairman of the Board
Randy Hatzenbuhler
TRMF President

The 2020 Medora Musical Cast!

This Medora Musical opens in a week and a half and is full of high-caliber entertainment and top-notch performers from across the nation!

So, we figured you’d want to know who’s in the Show! Get on now, scroll on down to see the entire cast of the 2020 Medora Musical!


Medora Musical reopening this summer

MEDORA, N.D. – The Medora Musical is returning this summer while observing coronavirus precautions.

The Medora Musical is following a “Smart Restart” plan as the cast prepares to get up and running.

The plan involves social-distanced seating maps at the Burning Hills Amphitheater, more shows to keep audience numbers down, guidelines on getting into and out of the theater and other health safety guidelines.

Marketing and Communications Director Justin Fisk says reopening the musical is important because it brings a lot of tourism to Medora and the state.

“It’s important for us to reopen smartly with some different levels of business so that folks can continue to protect lives and livelihoods. But also, it’s for our state,” Fisk said.

Fisk says despite reopening, he expects the musical will lose customers due to coronavirus impacts and limited seating. He says they’ve cut the budget to reflect the new, anticipated income. He hopes to be able to announce the show’s opening date sometime in the next couple weeks

By Emmeline Ivy | Posted: Mon 5:01 PM, May 11, 2020

Scheels’ Gets BULLY Value from Medora Business Membership

A Medora Business Membership is a uniquely North Dakotan way to say thank you to the people that matter most to your business: your employees and your customers.

With Membership, you get season passes to the Medora Musical and rounds of golf at Bully Pulpit Golf Course to give to whomever you choose. Many companies get over a $10,000 return on their Membership… companies like Scheels.

We sat down with Melissa Neutman, Marketing and Events Director for Scheels in Bismarck to get her thoughts on the benefits of Membership, what it feels like to make the state’s #1 Tourist Destination better and what it’s like working for Scheels, a company who cares about the community and its employees alike!


Meet the cast of this year’s Medora Musical!

Hosts Chet Wollen and Bill Sorensen to lead star-studded Medora Musical cast made up of returning talent, new performers, and several North Dakota natives!

Each year thousands of performers audition at locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Florida to find the best talent for the Medora Musical. So let’s meet the cast!

The 2019 Medora Musical, Hosts

Chet Wollan, a Medora favorite is back to host the Medora Musical. Chet (pictured above) is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota but now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with Princess of the Prairie, Candice Lively Wollan. 

This will be Chet’s fourth year hosting the Medora Musical and his 13th year starring in the show. 

Bill Sorensen will return to the Medora Musical for his “final ride” co-hosting. Bill has been performing in Medora for the past 40 years as a magician, comedian, and entertainer. Don’t miss this dynamic duo together on stage this summer!

Read the full press release here about Bill Sorensen’s time in Medora, and what’s next for Wild Bill.

The Burning Hills Singers! 


Bill Sorensen’s Final Ride

Long-time Medora entertainer to co-host the Medora Musical for a final time

(MEDORA, ND) Bill Sorensen is a household name around Medora, and this summer, you’ll get to see him on stage at the Medora Musical one last time, co-hosting for his final season alongside a star-studded cast.

“Medora has been a place of great importance to me. I watched my daughters grow up here, I myself have grown in this place with these people, and whether I’m performing for five people of 2,000 people I am always grateful for the experience,” remarks Bill.


Sheriff Bear Leaves Medora

Breaking News

In a twist of unforeseen events Sheriff Bear has announced his resignation from the Medora Musical. Sheriff Bear has been with the show since the early 2000 and is the longest recurring cast member to date.

Sheriff Bear being poked fun at by current Medora Musical host Chet Wollen.

Official Sheriff Bear translator, Ken Quiricone says that Sheriff Bear says, “After being passed up over and over for host of the Medora Musical and as a member of the clog I have decided to follow my dreams elsewhere.”

Sheriff Bear is heading to New York City to pursue his dreams of performing ballet and continuing his sheriff background as a horse mounted officer in Central Park.

Published April 1st – the most foolish day of them all!

Women of Medora: Emily Walter

This article was originally posted in Inspired Women Magazine and was written by Stephanie Fong.

Emily Walter has spent a three-decade career traveling the world as a professional vocalist and actor. She’s served as a singer in the U.S. Air Force Band, entertained in shows on cruise ships, and —among many other things — has personified the title of Medora’s “Queen of the West.”


Interview with TRMF Business Member, Railway Credit Union

We sat down with Railway Credit Union President, Paul Brucker to get his thoughts on what Medora has done for his company, creating a workplace people want to work at, and what he learned from his parents.

Paul Brucker, President of Railway Credit Union

Paul, why join the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Business Membership Program?

Being a patriotic ND based business, Railway Credit Union (RCU) initially joined the TR Medora Foundation because it seemed like the right thing to do.

It was not until later that we realized the benefits that the membership provided to our credit union members, staff, and volunteers.


2019 Medora Musical Auditions!

Auditions are coming up at the end of January, don’t miss your chance to star in the Greatest Show in the West, the Medora Musical! Performed live and outside 100 nights in a row this western musical complete with history, live animals, fireworks, and some good ‘ol downhome country music is a show unlike any other!