Hometown Tapestry Productions Opening Soon

| June 29, 2012

Group photo (back to front): Brandon Bramwell, Josh Fredrickson, Tabitha Singleton, Annalisa Jamnik, Joe Sanger, Jackie Rico, Andriana Pilolla, Vic Pilolla, Rich Fredrickson (Theatre Owner), Maggie White, Jacob Fredrickson, Becca Kupher, Amber Gershon, David Heusel

When the hand written sign stating “Hometown Tapestry” appeared in the empty store front on Ruby Street, it not only sparked my curiosity, but I seriously thought a knitting group was moving in. Then another sign finally appeared that said, “Coffee House Theatre.” A few days after leaving a card and newspaper, I received a call from Rich Fredrickson, entrepreneur and proprietor of Hometown Tapestry Productions. However, he wasn’t calling so much to advertise his new business, but to bring some recognition to the students who came on Monday, June 11 to help him clean up, set up, and eventually step up to the stage in his new theatre.

He was extremely grateful for the help and wanted to “surprise” them with my coming and taking some pictures.

The group of students are from East Leyden High School and are under the direction of Vic Pilolla, Technical Director for the East Leyden Drama Department. Vic explained that the students range from freshmen to seniors with one college student volunteering her time. The kids were great, busily sweeping, mopping and building the flats for the background and sets. Although boys are typically the ones handling the saws and drills, the girls had no problem getting their hands dirty during construction and taking charge. One of the girls, Annalisa Jamnik, a junior at East, is an all-state technician having earned the title at a theater festival the group attended.

Under Vic’s direction, they all pitched in to get Hometown Tapestry cleaned up and on its way to opening its doors by the hopeful date of July 1st.  But let’s get a little background from Rich about his new business.

Rich told me that he came up with the idea of a coffee house theatre after driving by one day with his son and noticed the empty store fronts and how the area looked “like a ghost town.” He felt the area needed something to bring people to the area and he purposely put the Hometown Tapestry sign in the window to spark interest.

Having always been in the spotlight himself performing with Improv groups and also as a professional clown, he felt he had to try and make a go of this new venture. With the help of his parents, his variety of entertainment and art is taking form. Truly, the coffeehouse theatre will provide a “tapestry” of venues that will hopefully entice people to stop in. The mornings will provide a place for people to sit enjoy coffee, teas and pastries. The shows will range from poetry nights, Improv, standup comedy, stage readings and unplugged music. Once things get going, Rich hopes to plan art shows featuring local artists, evolving later to become a recognized art dealer showcasing well known artists. He’s hoping to provide theatre classes where the students will write, produce and take part in the productions. Even neighboring Positano’s Restaurant hopes to be able to offer a dinner theatre package in the future.

Rich enthusiastically continued telling me of his vision; but then the pizza for the kids arrived and they all took a break to sit down and eat. The kids were grateful for the food but Rich couldn’t have been happier with all the help. “Everyone has been so great. People have donated items to me, their time, I’m really excited.”  Rich also said that someone asked him, “Is it going to be like a “Friends” coffee shop?”  Rich said, “Well, if I can get Phoebe to play here, maybe!”

As they say in theatre, “Break a leg Rich!”  Be sure to let us know of your grand opening and premier!

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Category: Articles, Community News

About the Author ()

Barbara is the publisher of People and Places Newspaper which she started in August of 2011. A lifelong resident of Schiller Park, she always felt it important that residents needed to be kept informed about their communities. Since newspaper coverage for Schiller Park stopped about twenty years ago, she made it a goal to bring a newspaper back to the area. She tries to include all of Leyden Township in her reporting and wants to keep true with the mission of the paper to "inform, educate and entertain."

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