Upstaged - The Series: Season One

Upstaged the Series 

A workplace comedy about theatre, friendship and families - - the ones we choose, the ones we’re born into, and the ones we have thrust upon us!

About the Series

Upstaged – The Series is a workplace comedy that takes place in a community theatre. It pays tribute to the people and situations encountered by those who participate in community theatre. The series is filmed entirely on location in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago with local talent. One of the biggest stars of the series is the Woodstock Opera House, a historic landmark whose stage has been graced by such luminaries as Orson Welles, Paul Newman and, of course, Ed Asner.

The first season of Upstaged is planned for 13 episodes of approximately 15-minutes in length. The committed actors and crew members of Upstaged are, for the most part, volunteering their skills and talents. The Opera House has generously opened their doors and provided unprecedented access to our company. However, there are many other costs in developing a project like this including insurance, equipment rental, props and costumes, etc.

The Story So Far

The story for Upstaged – the Series has developed over many years as I’ve worked as an actor, director, and crew member at the Opera House and other theatres in the NW Suburbs. The situations, characters and conversations are based in large part on reality. And if you’ve ever experienced community theatre, chances are you’ll recognize many of these from your own experiences!

Meet the Team

Executive Producer: Karen Cook has been acting in community theatre for more than 10 years. She has performed many shows at the Woodstock Opera House, a central character featured in Upstaged. She is a co-founder of Film Stripped Productions, and also serves as Producer and Player. By day, Karen is an HR Human professional for a global consulting company in Chicago.

Creator/Writer/Director: Jeff Cook has spent more than ten years involved in community theatre and spent more than a decade working in corporate communications for a Fortune 500 comedy. Together with his wife, Karen, Jeff formed Film Stripped Productions early in 2016 to develop screen to stage adaptations of classic Hollywood films.

Director of Photography: Joel Bennett has been a professional in the film and video industries for the past 15 years.  He received a BA in film from Columbia College Chicago with an emphasis on Cinematography.  He has worked with Studio Mechanics local 476 in the grip, electric and special effects departments on numerous Hollywood, commercial, corporate and independent productions.  Currently he is contracted out by several select production studios in the Chicagoland area for videography and editing nationwide.  Joel also specializes in theatrical production videos for promotional and archival purposes.  

Line ProducerChristy Johanson has quickly become an invaluable member of the production team, coordinating just about everything from rehearsals to volunteers to schedules. She has also contributed her talents as a makeup designer, script coordinator and occasional costume designer. Christy has basically kept us on track and on schedule throughout our entire production.

Director of Marketing: Shannon Lee Day  has experience as a performer, choreographer, artistic director and producer in both theater and Film.  Shannon produced the motion picture Red Windows while also portraying the film’s central character, Abbey. She also owned Toscana Promotions a Marketing and Sales firm in LA and Boston before returning to Chicago and reentering the artist community.   Follow Shannon on Facebook: Twitter: @shanday13 and Instagram: SLDofficial  


At launch the first episodes of the series will be available on online social media outlets at no charge to viewers. We will also be potentially submitting to streaming sites to generate additional awareness and income.

Donations ()

  • Krystal Reuter 
    • 5 $ 
    • 26 mos
  • Nikki Calhoun 
    • 25 $ 
    • 26 mos
  • Anjali Reddy 
    • 25 $ 
    • 26 mos
  • Karen W 
    • 15 $ 
    • 26 mos
  • John Westby 
    • 100 $ 
    • 26 mos
See all


Jeff Cook 
Crystal Lake, IL
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