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 501(c)(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

Executive Board


Elaine Cashmore
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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.

Vice President

Jordan Rakittke
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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.

Secretary / SARA & Technical

Tracey Lanman
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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. 

Treasurer / Play Reading Commission

Roger Zawacki
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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


Lisa Czarny-Hyrkas
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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!


Kelsey Waughon
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Kelsey has had a love of the stage from early childhood, when she slipped on her first pair of ballet slippers at age five. Over the next decade she trained classically in all forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, pointe, and contemporary. In high school, she discovered choir and her love of musical theatre was born. She continued dancing throughout her undergrad career, always making time for at least one dance class a semester while working towards degrees in both Molecular Biology and Psychology at the University of Illinois. It wasn’t until 2019 that Kelsey discovered the world of community theatre when she auditioned for and made the cast of Theatre 121’s inaugural show, Mamma Mia. From that moment on, she knew that Theatre 121 would be her second home. From dancing in the ensemble to painting the set, to producing shows, Kelsey loves being involved in all aspects of live theatre! She loves Theatre 121 because it’s a community that is accepting of everyone, no matter their background, and it allows everyone to let their true, authentic selves shine! 

Outside of theatre, Kelsey is a color chemist in the coatings industry, formulating architectural paints in a research lab. You may see some paint color names that Kelsey invented which are inspired by the theatre! When she’s not at rehearsal, you can find Kelsey playing rec softball, reading, playing video games, watching movies, writing her blog, and snuggling with her cats and rabbit.


Mike Frale
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Mike has been a part of Theatre 121 since 2021 and has had the theatre bug since 2010. He has a masters in organizational leadership as well as a bachelors in theatre from Lewis University. He has directed and produced multiple shows with Theatre 121 as well as with community theatre organizations across the Chicagoland area. Mike feels that the most important aspect of community theatre is creating that sense of community, not just within the cast and crew, but with the audience as well. He is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society as well as a member of the American Association of Community Theatres. Outside of theatre, Mike is a membership manager with a cat and a bird.


Emily Kunash
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Hi! I’m Emily Kunash! I am a lifelong performer and lover of theatre. I have lived in Woodstock for 10 years with my husband and 3 children. While Cinderella was my first opportunity to engage with Theatre 121, I quickly jumped in and was involved in all 5 shows in the 2022-23 season and in some way, because T121 has become family! In addition to being a mom and performing, I am a mental health counselor and avid reader. I own Next Level Counseling and Wellness where I manage a staff of 10 and complete administrative tasks on top of my client caseload. I am so excited to see what Theatre 121 will do in the future and eager to be a part of it!

Special Events

Tracy Parr
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Tracy fell in love with theater when she was young, and started performing in musicals in high school. Bringing amazing shows to the local community is something Tracy is very passionate about. She is proud to be a part of Theatre 121 because of the compassionate, accepting, and collaborative members. Outside of theater, Tracy is a wife, a mother of 3 boys, and teaches 2nd grade. She loves to do crafts, watch movies, and go to Disney World!

Community Connections

Eric Thiegs
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In addition to his day-to-day life as a businessman and father, he currently serves as the Ensemble Director/Acting Coach with the musical theater production team at Crystal Lake Central High School (since 2019). As an actor, previous acting credits include Dr. Neville Craven in The Secret Garden, Peter in The Heidi Chronicles, Michael Just in a portion of the regional tour of the Off-Broadway hit Tony & Tina’s Wedding, and more. In addition to performance work, between 2002 – 2012, Eric directed 11 musicals for Red Lion Area Public High School (Red Lion, PA) including Les Miserables, Beauty & the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, Wizard of Oz, Footloose, and more. And going waaaay back, during his 20s, he performed as the lead singer and guitarist in an original folk rock band playing 150+ gigs across the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, including an acoustic tour on the east coast in NYC, Philly, Wilmington, and more. His last album (Distant and Clean, released in 2005) made the digital leap and is downloadable on Spotify (search artist ‘Eric Thiegs’). Eric is honored to be a part of the Theatre121 board!