As a Grand Forks, ND native, Misti Koop is grateful and overjoyed to be returning for her sixth season as a Burning Hills Singer! We caught up with this energetic, fan-favorite hometown girl to get her thoughts on what she’s been up to and the upcoming Medora Musical season!
Posts tagged Medora Musical
Fargo, ND native Alyssa Scott is thrilled to be returning to Medora for her second summer as a Burning Hills Singer. We dropped a few questions her way via email and she answered them from her Nashville, TN abode!
Kevin Korczynski is one of the most popular Burning Hills Singers in the history of the Medora Musical.
And after a year-long break, he’s returning to a, “one-of-a-kind” stage!
See what Kevin has to say about his return to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre and be sure to read all the way to the end… there is an AMAZING story about the First Lady of Modern Medora, Sheila Schafer!
A Maine native, Christie Robinson most recently earned her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Florida in April 2017.
She also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maine at Farmington and a Certificate of Performance from The Circle in the Square Musical Theatre Intensive in NYC.
We caught up with Christie over email to see what she’s most excited for this summer in Medora and why she decided to return to Medora for her second season!
2017 Burning Hills Singer Taylor Leet is back for her 2nd year as a Burning Hills Singer in the “Greatest Show in the West“!
Raised in her beautiful hometown of Bismarck, ND, Taylor followed her dreams to Chicago earning a BA in Vocal Performance/Contemporary Urban Popular from Columbia College Chicago.
At an early age, Taylor discovered her passion for music and performing. She has been fortunate to participate in musicals, special events, gospel ensembles, and worship teams.
Growing up, she attended the Medora Musical each summer and is thrilled to be a Burning Hills Singer!
We sat down with Taylor to get her take on being a North Dakotan in the Medora Musical and more!
(Medora, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF), in conjunction with StageWest Entertainment, is excited to announce the cast of the 2018 Medora Musical and that the Show’s theme will be about “family.”
Over four million people have seen the Medora Musical since first opening in 1965 – many visitors from around the region make it a family tradition to see the show each year.
However, the family tradition extends further than the guests who flock to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre each summer.
Back for his third year as Host of the Medora Musical, Chet Wollan grew up on the Badlands stage – first watching his father, Curt Wollan, produce the show (1987-2018) before joining the production for the first time as a four-year old doing rope tricks with Montie Montana.
Chet has grown into his role as host and again leads a very talented, professional cast in this year’s Medora Musical.
Curt, for his part, remembers his early years in Medora fondly, saying, “Little did I know that answering an ad in 1977 would have led to meeting my wife, Jane, and to the honor of fathering two very talented Burning Hills Singers — Chet and his sister, Lexie Wollan-Swenson.
“I love this show. It is so fun coming back to it year after year to tell timeless tales about Teddy Roosevelt, the Badlands and family values in compelling new ways.”
Former Bismarck Mayor, Bill Sorensen, will join Chet Wollan as co-host after a successful, four-state tour of A Magical Medora Christmas.
This will be Bill’s second season back as a kind of grandfatherly figure, helping his co-host tell the story of the Badlands and Medora.
Between Chet and Bill, this year’s show is sure to include a great mix of fan-favorite moments and humor – some scripted and others, well, not so much.
Each year some of the top stage talent in North Dakota audition for the Medora Musical. The competition is stiff and those selected compete against talent recruited from across the nation.
This year, three North Dakotans made the cast and are returning: Misti Koop, of Grand Forks; Taylor Leet, of Bismarck; and Alyssa Scott of Fargo.
Koop and Leet pursued passion projects during the winter, while Scott and her boyfriend, Medora Musical lead guitarist, Adam Vogel, have been performing and recording in Nashville, TN.
Vocal powerhouse and veteran performer, Candice Lively-Wolllan, joins the cast and her husband, Chet, this year as well. Candice and Chet just finished performing in a National Tour of Ring of Fire together.
The comical and ever animated, Ken Quiricone, will return in his “comedic side-kick role” for his 7th year after performance stints in Atlanta, GA, and Pennsylvania.
Fans will be happy to know that six-year veteran of the Show, Kevin Korczynski, will be returning after working in Florida and Illinois.
Kevin had this to say about his return to the stage of the Medora Musical, “A large part of returning was simply missing Medora. It’s a one-of-a-kind professional contract and I missed the electricity on that epic stage.
“I also missed the people, onstage and off. Co-workers, friends for life, Medora family, and fans it’s all a huge part of every summer story. The joy on-stage and off makes for such a gratifying return.”
Other veteran professionals returning for 2018 include:
Jessica Bradish, whose professional credits include a National Tour in Pump Boys and Dinettes.
Christie Robinson — who’s one half of Medora’s newest Kids Show, Carl and Greta’s Cowboy Sing Along with returning Medora Musical band leader, Andrew Crowe.
And Dusin LaFleur, who has worked at the Crossroads Repertory and Grandstreet Theatres.
The three new Burning Hills Singers are Ben Massouras, John Woodruff and Benjamin Frankart.
While over one thousand performers auditioned for the show at locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Florida and Tennessee this year, for TRMF communications director, Justin Fisk, a cast full of returners is fitting with this year’s “Family” theme.
“Really, the theme can be traced directly to the people who come to the show – the Medora Musical has been a family tradition, for visitors and staff, since Harold and Sheila Schafer started the show in 1965. Today, you see families all summer long with two, three, even four generations coming together.
It seems like fate, too, for our production team to build the show around this theme, and then for the cast to come together in a way that almost feels like a big family reunion – albeit a really musically talented one!”
Fisk concluded, “It will be fun and exciting to see how such an epic story of TR and the Badlands can be told with the family theme, with such a talented cast who are themselves a lot like a family.”
Lead Roles of the Medora Musical
- Chet Wollan – Host – “Cowboy Chet”
Strawberry Plains, TN, by way of St. Anthony, MN — returning
- Bill Sorensen – Co-Host – “Wild West Prestidigitator”
Bismarck, ND — returning
- Candice Lively-Wollan – Burning Hills Singer/Co-Host
Strawberry Plains, TN — returning
- Ken Quiricone – Burning Hills Singer/Co-Host
Stratford, CT — returning
- Jessica Bradish Des Moines, IA — returning
- Benjamin Frankart Republic, OH
- Kevin Korczynski Bel Air, MD — returning
- Misti Koop Grand Forks, ND – returning
- Dustin LaFleur Lafayette, LA — returning
- Taylor Leet Bismarck, ND — returning
- Ben Massouras Phoenix, AZ
- Christie Robinson Bucksport, ME — returning
- Alyssa Scott Fargo, ND — returning
- Jon Woodruff White Bear Lake, MN
- Andrew Crowe, Fiddle Franklinton, NC — returning
- Brandon Fillette, Piano Weddington, NC — returning
- Junior Mercer, Steel Guitar Sevierville, TN
- Perry Orfanella, Bass Carmel, NY — returning
- Barry Smith, Drummer Orlando, FL
- Adam Vogel, Guitar Melrose, MN — returning
“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 »
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.
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 »
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-audition contact: Justin Fisk, 701-340-3183
Day-of and performer contact: Curt Wollan, Producer/Director