INTERVIEW: Joe Wiegand on the Journey to Bring Teddy Roosevelt to Life

Oct 7, 2021

Joe Wiegand as Teddy Roosevelt

On Saturday night the Clay County Heritage is hosting an event called “An Evening with Teddy Roosevelt” at the Clay County Regional Events Center in Spencer, Iowa. Roosevelt reprisor Joe Wiegand bring the 26th president to life.

Wiegand, has given performances across the country and currently lives in Medora, North Dakota where he works for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.    

Joe Wiegand performs at the White House in 2008

For more information on Joe Wiegand click here.

News release from Clay County Heritage:

Clay County Heritage is excited to announce an event called “An Evening with Teddy Roosevelt” that will be held on Saturday, October 9th at the Clay County Regional Events Center in Spencer, Iowa. Theodore Roosevelt reprisor Joe Wiegand will bring the Rough Rider President to life for one night only thanks to the generous sponsorship from David and Jane Kruse of Commstock. All funds from this historical event will help support the mission of Clay County Heritage “to collect, preserve, and interpret local Clay County history for the education and enjoyment of the public.”

Regular admission show starts at 7:00PM and have the following costs: Student tickets for those under 18 are $10, Clay County Heritage Members can purchase tickets for $25, and General Public tickets are $30.

A VIP Meet & Greet will take place from 5:30PM to 6:30PM allowing you to rub elbows and take selfies with the president prior to the show while enjoying a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres. Each VIP ticket comes with 1 drink ticket and costs the following: Clay County Heritage Members can purchase VIP tickets for $40 and VIP General Public tickets are $50. Businesses and other organizations can sponsor the event starting at $500. Sponsorships include 8 VIP admission tickets, 16 drink tickets, and marketing mentions when applicable.

To purchase tickets, visit www.ClayCountyHerirtage.org or stop in the Heritage Center at 7 Grand Avenue in Spencer.

For further questions regarding these events, please call the Clay County Heritage Center at (712) 262-3304.

Biography for Joe Wiegand:

Joe Wiegand is the world's premiere Theodore Roosevelt reprisor.  As an actor and historian, Joe's portrayals of Theodore Roosevelt in live performances have people wondering if TR has come back to life.

Joe Wiegand is a political science graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.  Twice elected to head Sewanee’s student government, Joe had earlier been elected Governor of the American Legion Illinois Boys State and President of the American Legion Boys Nation programs.   Joe served as a graduate assistant at the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, before launching his own business as a political campaign consultant and public policy expert.   Joe has been named a Wilkins Scholar, a Harry S. Truman Scholar, and a Thomas J. Watson Fellow.  Joe served six years as a member of the DeKalb County, Illinois Board of Commissioners. Joe was working in public policy and running election campaigns when he began performing as Theodore Roosevelt in 2002.

In 2008, Joe, his wife, Jenny, daughter, Sam, and golden retriever, Faith, traveled across America in celebration of Theodore Roosevelt's 150th birthday and the final centennial year of TR's historic presidency. Performances at the White House and TR's New York City birthplace highlighted the fifty state adventure.  Joe has been featured as President Roosevelt in “The Men Who Built America” on the History Channel, served as the model for the newest TR sculpture at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and has a feature role in “National Parks Adventure” a film about our national parks still showing in IMAX theaters throughout the country.

Today, the Wiegands live in Medora, North Dakota, where Joe works for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. Joe is a thirty year member of Rotary International and a member of the National Association for Interpretation. Joe’s performance tour is highlighted in summer by a daily matinee in Medora, gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and future home of Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.  Visit www.medora.com