About Deadwood Alive
History of Deadwood Alive
Deadwood Alive has been entertaining and educating visitors for over 20 years with Main Street shootouts and regular performances of the Trial of Jack McCall. The Deadwood Alive troupe consists of more than10 characters who provide entertainment throughout the year. Visitors will witness daily shootouts, guided walking tours, musical performances and the world famous Trial of Jack McCall. Deadwood Alive is managed by a non-profit board of directors. We employ many talented actors and support staff each summer to re-enact several historically accurate incidents of Deadwood’s history. The shows are a must see for Black Hills visitors each year.
Cast of the "World Famous" Trial of Jack McCall
Andy 'Cookie' Mosher
Andy was born and raised in Concordia, Kansas, where he worked as a firefighter/EMT for many years before moving to Deadwood in 2005. In 2010, he was recruted by friends to join Deadwood Alive. He plays several different characters throughout the day including Jon Swift at the Trial of Jack McCall. His main role on the street is Deadwood's, first and only, City Marshal, Con Stapleton. Since joining the troupe, he has served in various capacities and is currently the Executive Director of Deadwood Alive.
Ty has been with Deadwood Alive since 2011. His primary role on Main Street Deadwood is that of Deputy US Marshal, bounty hunter and shotgun messenger, Daniel Boone May. This character is no relation to George May from the Trial of Jack McCall, whom Ty also plays. Ty's current position is that of Assistant Director and Loading Captain in charge of all things firearms.
Sean Baxter is a “Hoosier” daddy from the great state of Indiana and now resides in Deadwood. He is a musician, playing and singing regularly in Deadwood. During the day he plays a variety of roles including a stage robber, a miner, a gunfighter, and a store clerk. Sean also plays Jack McCall at the Saloon No. 10 and has been with Deadwood Alive since 2009.
Since 2009 Travis has played gunslingers all day and an attorney at night. Travis is “shot” four times each day by Jack McCall while playing Wild Bill Hickok, and finishes out each night by defending his “murderer” in court! Travis was born and raised in Vivian, South Dakota, where he is remembered as “that kid that caught the four pound bass”, and now considers the Black Hills his home for life.
When not performing in one of the shows, Lee plays the part of Theodore Roosevelt, explaining his connection to Deadwood’s history. Lee grew up in the Black Hills and earned degrees in history and education. He spent 20 years as an elementary school teacher prior to moving back to the Black Hills. He has been involved in sharing the history of Deadwood since 2012. He also co-authored the book “Fort Meade Peacekeeper of the Black Hills” in 2018.
Raul Ponce de Leon
Raul works on the information chuckwagon during the day, answering questions and directing guests to the amazing things the area has to offer. In the evening he portrays Judge William L. Kuykendall in The Trial of Jack McCall. He joined the acting troupe in 2017. Raul is a long-time Deadwood resident, living in a historic home. He is a tour guide, artist, western historian, and a member of the Deadwood Library board.
Jake's fifth great uncle was Mike Heffron, one of the first white men to enter Deadwood Gulch back in 1875. In 1879, he married Mary Manning, she was the youngest sister of John Manning who was the first elected Sheriff of Lawrence County (beating Seth Bullock in a landslide election). John Manning owned the Senate Saloon in 1876 and dealt cards there to Wild Bill. Since Uncle John and Grandma Manning's mother, Julia Manning, came to the Black Hills on the stage in 1878 this makes Jake a sixth generation Deadwood resident. His ancestors really played cards with Wild Bill Hickok. Jake has been with Deadwood Alive since 2018, playing many roles including that of Jack McCall, the murderer of Wild Bill.
Mike served 12 years active duty with the U.S. Navy and three years active duty in the U.S. Army before becoming a firefighter. He worked as a firefighter for two years in Colorado and 10 years in Rapid City, SD. He has lived in the Black Hills for the past 25 years and loves what it has to offer. He and his wife Lisa own and operate Alkali Ike Tours in Deadwood. Mike plays drunken riverboat Captain William Massie at The Trial of Jack McCall.
A native of Palatine, Illinois, Todd got into acting early in life and went on to work in the entertainment, film, and television industry for over 20 years. Todd moved to Deadwood in early 2019 with his wife Jill and mother-in-law Sally to open Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary. Todd started acting with the Deadwood Alive troupe in 2019. He spends his days on the Deadwood Stagecoach and plays Captain William Massie at the Trial of Jack McCall at night.
Les has lived in the Black Hills since 2014. He makes his home in both Deadwood and Custer. He has been involved in theater and historical re-enacting since 2014 and joined Deadwood Alive in 2020. He plays Sheriff Seth Bullock on the streets of Deadwood and various other characters in the Trial of Jack McCall. Les has a passion for history, especially about Deadwood and the Black Hills. He served 3 1⁄2 years active duty in the U.S. Air force and another 5 in the Air Force Reserves. He has a bachelor’s degree with a minor in history and will graduate with a Master’s degree in history, in 2021. In his spare time, he loves playing guitar, piano, singing, reading American history, and riding motorcycles through the Black Hills.
Patrick Harpel grew up in Pueblo Colorado. In 1985, he moved to Denver where he operated a roofing company for 35 years. In the early 2000's Patrick visited Deadwood with his uncle. He enjoyed the area so much that he soon bought property in Boulder Canyon. He and his wife built a house on their property and retired to the Deadwood area in 2020. During his many visits to Deadwood over the years, he got to know the cast of Deadwood Alive by “harassing” them on the street every summer. After retiring, it was only natural to join them. Patrick can be found on main street, portraying Potato Creek Johnny(a local celebrity), and helping out visitors at the information chuckwagon.
*Photo Credit Brittany Schoenfelder
Deadwood Alive Board of Directors
Deadwood Alive's Board of Directors come from several different businesses, non-profit organizations, the City of Deadwood and the Chamber of Commerce. They donate their time and efforts to help ensure a safe, enjoyable and educational experience for Deadwood's visitors.
- Rose Speirs, Chair
- Kevin Kuchenbecker, Vice-Chair
- Mike Rodman, Treasurer
- Michelle Fischer, Secretary
- Lee Harstad
- John Rystrom