Bringing Live Theatre to McHenry County Since 1967

Theatre 121: Quality Community Theatre With a Heart for Our Community

children's production

Theatre 121 is an inclusive theater for the McHenry County area, providing education, connections, and community through excellence in the arts. We strengthen the bonds of our community by drawing visitors to Woodstock and area businesses, developing skills both on and off the stage, and providing entertainment and a sense of community for all.

Woodstock, IL has a rich tradition of excellent community theatre. In fact, TownSquare Players, Inc. and Woodstock Musical Theatre Company have produced quality theatre in Woodstock for over 50 years. But in 2019, both companies chose to merge to create one new non-for-profit 501c (3) theatre company, Theatre 121. The primary focus of Theatre 121 is to maintain the extensive legacy of both organizations while optimizing resources and pushing towards a more progressive and prestigious future.

In order to act for the future, Theatre 121 has embraced the realization that we need to serve the community that has graciously served both companies in the past. Our goal is to promote, sponsor, support, produce, instruct and engage in all the performing arts as well as all the various forms of the performance arts and any other related activities. We also value education and foster the arts by supporting and offering educational opportunities for youth and adults. Additionally, we continue to support and promote the Woodstock Opera House, which is home to many of our productions.

Board of Directors

Elaine Cashmore

President / Event Planning

Elaine Cashmore
(click image to contact)

Elaine caught the acting bug as a young child, and went on to earn a degree in musical theatre performance from Illinois State University. She has been performing locally since 2018, with her first show at the Opera House being The Little Mermaid. Elaine feels that community theatre is special because it is a collaborative and temporary art form where people come together for their shared passion of theatre, not for fame or fortune. She particularly loves Theatre 121 for the many ways it engages the community, not just through shows but through special events, book drives, food drives and much more. Outside of theatre, Elaine is a corporate trainer for a call center that handles leave and disability, and is also a talented voiceover artist. She loves hanging out with her two children, husband, and dog, watercolor painting and enjoying the outdoors.

Fascinated with Shirley Temple’s films as a child, Jordan threw herself into dance and theatre at age 3, with her first dance recital that year on the Opera House stage! She has been performing ever since, and has performed in, directed, or worked in some capacity on over 60 shows. Between serving on the Townsquare Players Board and then Theatre 121’s board, she has been a board member for nearly a decade. She loves Theatre 121 because of the sense of family and community it brings where all are welcomed. Outside of theatre, Jordan is a stay at home parent with her two children.

Aaron Gomez

Secretary / Historical

Aaron Gomez
(click image to contact)

Aaron has been involved in theatre for over 20 years and has performed in multiple Theatre 121 productions as well as served as the Artistic Director for Theatre 121’s “The Sound of Music”. He loves collaborating with the wonderful humans that he can call “family” at Theatre 121. Outside of theatre, Aaron owns a skincare/makeup studio in Crystal Lake and enjoys interior design, traveling and being a foodie!

Roger Zawacki

Treasurer / Reading Commission

Roger Zawacki
(click image to contact)

Roger was a 1971 graduate of Northwestern University where he worked backstage and started a small theatre group that produced obscure musicals. He went on to become the Theatre Director at Johnsburg High School for 32 years while also teaching math and serving as the Assistant Principal. Roger has directed over 100 shows and served as a board member for Townsquare Players for many years before transitioning to become a founding board member of Theatre 121. He loves that theatre is a collaborative art that allows people from different backgrounds to come together with a common goal, uplifting and inspiring them to be better human beings. Roger enjoys Disney World, traveling with his wife and adult children and has saved every Playbill from every professional show he has seen since 1961.  

Directors at Large

Shannon Lee Day

Community Connections

Shannon Lee Day
(click image to contact)

Shannon caught the theatre bug in fifth grade, continuing on to study acting, costuming, directing, choreography and dance at Columbia College and The College of Lake County. Additionally, she received a degree from Loyola University Chicago in Political Science with a minor in Classical Studies. She went on to work as a performer at Six Flags Great America and in various capacities at several community theatres, including Townsquare Players and Woodstock Musical Theatre Company. Shannon has also starred in the web series, Upstaged, and in several other on-screen roles. Outside of theatre and film, Shannon is a Territory Manager at CDW-G, supporting higher education. Shannon was one of the founding board members of Theatre 121, starting as Secretary, moving to Vice President and then on to become a Director at Large. She loves to work out, hang with her friends and spend time with her crazy French bull dog, Sir Seamus Bubs.

Lisa Czarny Hrakas

Membership

Lisa Czarny-Hyrkas
(click image to contact)

Lisa has been performing on stage singing, dancing or acting since elementary school. Her first community theatre experience was in the Woodstock Musical Theatre Company production of Cinderella in 1989 and worked with them as well as Townsquare Players for many years. As a founding board member of Theatre 121, Lisa draws her knowledge and training from her parents, Lou and Janie Czarny, who were heavily involved in theatre for over 30 years. One of the things Lisa loves about community theatre are the many opportunities it allows for people of all ages to get involved. Lisa is currently a domestic goddess, formerly serving as an elementary school teacher. She loves watching movies and spending time with her talented, musical family who likes “jamming” together on a variety of instruments. She has a special knack for drumming with her hands!

Tracey Lanman

SARA / Technical

Tracey Lanman
(click image to contact)

When Tracey was two years old, she was caught singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in a very theatrical manner, complete with arm gestures. Her mother remembers thinking, “There’s definitely a spark of something there.” In college, she majored in Special Education with a minor in Theatre. Her dream was to start a summer camp for kids with disabilities, but life got in the way. Tracey has been working with community theatre in the Woodstock area for about 10 years, engaging in everything from costumes to props to set building, technical coordination, acting and more. She loves how community theatre allows people from all walks of life to come together to create a temporary piece of art for others to enjoy. Tracey is a licensed massage therapist with 3 grown children and one grandson. She also has a hidden talent for baking and decorating elaborate cakes, including video game console cakes and barbeque grill cakes. 

Jeff Cook

Storybook Players / Encore

Jeff Cook
(click image to contact)

In 1972, at the age of 8, Jeff wrote, produced and starred in his first show, “The Jeff Show.” He then did nothing theatrically for the next 8 years, when he was cast in two high school shows in McHenry, IL. He then did nothing for the next 23 years until he was lured into the Woodstock Theatre scene with that age old siren song, “They need men.” Since then, Jeff has performed, wrote, produced and directed more or less continually. In addition to acting in or directing more than 25 productions for Woodstock Musical Theatre Company, Town Square Players, Theatre 121 and his own production company, Film Stripped Productions, Jeff wrote, directed and produced a 13-episode web series, Upstaged – The Series, filmed on location at the Woodstock Opera House and in the local community. Most recently, Jeff has been involved in Theatre 121s community outreach program, The Storybook Players, which creates theatrical experiences for the benefit of children without the means or access to attend productions. Outside of theatre, Jeff is a freelance corporate communications consultant and full-time dog walker.

Kelsey Waughon

Marketing

Kelsey Waughon
(click image to contact)

Kelsey has had a love of the stage from early childhood, dancing since age five and performing in musicals since high school. Outside of theatre, Kelsey is a color chemist in the coatings industry, formulating architectural paints in a research lab. And yes, you may see some paint color names that Kelsey invented which are inspired by the theatre! Kelsey loves Theatre 121 because it is a company that is accepting of everyone, no matter their background, and allows everyone to let their true, authentic selves shine! Kelsey also enjoys rec softball, reading, video games, movies, writing her blog, and snuggling with her cats and rabbit.