Voices of Dakota Prairie: A North Dakota Original


BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – An original play on North Dakota history is performed by the University of Mary.

Voices of Dakota Prairies is a play written and produced by the Director of the University of Mary’s Theater Arts Program and Professor Daniel Bielinski.

For over two years, he worked closely with the college’s history program to help tell the story of the first settlers to arrive in the area.

“The hardships they endured in the late 1800s when they came here were phenomenal. It seemed like such good dramatic material, ”Bielinski said.

The song, dance, poetry, and music of the era are all used to help tell the story of North Dakota’s predecessors.

“You can read dry historical accounts of what the people in these black and white photos did. But seeing him on stage gives a whole new perspective, ”said Bielinski.

Many families on the show have descendants statewide. Local actors and actresses who perform say stepping back in time has been an experience.

“All these different early settlers, we actually say their own words, we can actually represent them using their own language. It’s not something you often see in a lot of theater and plays like this, ”said actor and student Jonathan Hagen.

“There is this great quote in the play: ‘For the first generation there is death, for the second there is need, only for the third generation there is bread.’ I think this spirit of self-sacrifice, and this idea that, ‘It’s not all about me,’ is a really moving and inspiring thing, ”Bielinski added.

This play will be performed on Friday October 8 and Saturday October 9 at the Bell Mehus Theater in downtown Bismarck. Tickets are available at the box office.

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