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 Misti Koop
(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
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
When we first start rehearsing in May, we have the advantage of a wall of mirrors. This helps so much to learn choreography! But once we reach the amphitheater, it’s all about numbers and spacing and timing… no mirrors anymore. The stage is lined with ascending numbers out from the center (being “0”) to each side. Besides, lyrics, correct notes, and precise choreography, we also have to be in the right place at all times. This precise placement of each moment of the show is called our “blocking.” READ MORE »
This blog was written by Burning Hill Singer Misti Koop. It is first in a series of blogs from North Dakota Burning Hills Singers.
Ten days into rehearsals, it’s time to leave our Minneapolis studio/rehearsal space and relocate to our home stage in Medora, ND. Some music is now memorized, some dances are in our bodies, the script is under revision, and we have one completed costume. After a promotional performance in Fargo and a few in Bismarck, we finally arrive in Medora for our first on-site rehearsal!
Two young talents join show veteran in the 2014 Medora Musical
(MEDORA, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, in conjunction with StageWest Entertainment, is excited to announce that three North Dakotans will join the Burning Hills Singers for the 2014 Medora Musical.
Damon Fichter, Dickinson, and Delanie Wiedrich, Hazen, will join the Burning Hills Singers for the first time this season. Both were selected after February’s auditions in Bismarck and Fargo, where they beat out a talented field of performers vying for a spot in the 2014 Medora Musical. Misti Koop, Grand Forks, will return for her second season in the Medora Musical.
“This audition season we saw well over 1,200 singers and dancers from all over the country – and the talent level was at an all-time high,” says Medora Musical Executive Producer and Director, Curt Wollan. “It was particularly impressive to see so many first time auditionees from North Dakota who were so well prepared. These new, young Burning Hills Singers stood out at the auditions because of their wonderful stage presence and beautiful voices and they will certainly make North Dakota proud during this Medora Musical season.” READ MORE »
1) What made you decide to audition for the Medora Musical again?
I am very excited to be coming back to Medora this summer.
Unlike other shows I’ve been a part of, The Medora Musical is unique and wonderful on a different level. I’m not trying to exaggerate.
At the closing of Medora 2012, I had gained several lifelong friends from our cast and crew. If your parents or teachers have ever told you, “surround yourself with exceptional people, and you will strive to be exceptional too,” then please believe them. That is exactly what I experienced as a Burning Hills Singer in The Medora Musical. Performing in this beautiful setting to a huge amphitheater of people who are truly glad to be there, and performing with a group of friendly, positive performers who give their ALL every night and LOVE what they do… is a top notch experience, in my book! READ MORE »