The Medora Musical is a musical that has is produced each summer at the open-air Burning Hills Amphitheatre near Medora, North Dakota. The musical is a look back at the "Wild West" days of the region and includes references to Theodore Roosevelt, who spent time in western North Dakota.
The musical premiered at the amphitheatre in 1965 and is the successor to earlier shows about Roosevelt.
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The Burning Hills Amphitheatre was built in 1958 one mile west of Medora, for the production of Ol’ Four Eyes. That production was also about Roosevelt. The musical was planned to help celebrate Roosevelt's 100th birthday. The amphitheatre was carved out of the side of the badlands in Burning Gulch by local volunteers, cast members and boys from the Home on the Range Ranch. The original theater seated between 1,000, and 1,200 people. It was constructed of wooden benches on the hillside with rustic buildings that formed a set around the stage. The natural acoustics of the hillside meant that no sound system would be needed.
Ol’ Four Eyes ran until 1963 when it was cancelled by the producer. It was replaced by Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again for the 1963 and 1964 seasons. In 1965 the amphitheatre was bought by former North Dakota businessman Harold Schafer. He immediately started the Medora Musical with the help of a Sheehan Productions associate, Fred Smith. The Medora Musical was originally called Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again; A Medora Musical, but the name was too long. In 1986, the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) was started by Schafer to help fund the community and the musical. In 1991, the amphitheatre received a $4.1 million facelift which added additional seating, a new stage, escalators, and a much needed wheelchair ramp. The new Burning Hills Amphitheatre was completed in 1992, and the new construction was completed in 1997. In 2005 another renovation was made to the sets and the stage. The amphitheatre seats 2,853. The musical is produced by Curt Wollan of StageWest Entertainment Inc.
Former show names
- Ol’ Four Eyes 1958-1962
- Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again 1963, 1964
- Medora Musical 1965–present
- Baumgarten, April (May 31, 2015). "N.D. singers ready to set foot on Burning Hills Amphitheatre for 50th celebration of Medora Musical". Grand Forks Herald. Grand Forks, North Dakota. Retrieved Oct 30, 2015.