Open Door Repertory Company presents:
The Backstory Project

Tuesdays, October 12th to November 16th

The Backstory Project is a series of video interviews with the editors / publishers of local community newspapers, and two owners of local diners and family restaurants. 

Newspapers and diners connect people to one another.

Theater, at it's heart, is storytelling. The heart of the Backstory Project interviews is two-fold:  WHY people do what they do, and WHAT was the journey that brought them to the present.


Interviews will be posted on the Open Door website,   on Tuesdays, starting October 12th.  Click on The Backstory Project tab, and enjoy these amazing stories.  These interviews are free, but supporting donations will be gratefully accepted.


Michael Romain, Editor of Austin Weekly News.  (released 11-16-2021)

How do stories of Stanford University and a bus stop on Lake Street inform Michael Romaine's vision of the Austin community?

Connie's Restaurant  (released 11-9-2021)

Andy Sotiropoulos shares the story of Connie's restaurant's 77 plus years in Berwyn. 

For the past 77 years, anyone dining at Connie's restaurant would know they were part of a busy, bustling enterprise.

What they might not know is that they and their fellow diners are only a part of what happens at Connie's.

Bob Uphues  (released 11-2-2021)

The Editor of the Riverside Brookfield Landmark newspaper shares his beginnings in journalism as well as the value of a local paper to the communities it serves. What is the surprising connection between a hat, a shirt, and the FBI? Watch to find out.

Al's Grill  (released 10-26-2021)

What is the 'magic ingredient' in every dish served at Al's Grill? Petros Mourtokokis, General Manager of Al's Grill in Oak Park, shares how the business started and the importance of its connections to the community.

Dan Haley part 2 (released 10-19-2021)

Dan believes that Growing Community Media's story-telling model is broken.  How does he envision fixing it?


Dan Haley part 1 (released 10-12-2021)

Dan Haley, editor of the Wednesday Journal  Oak Park River Forest and publisher of Growing Community Media, will share his story.  In it, we learn which elected official Dan calls "... a terrific, terrific lady."