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Matt Greenfield, top center with fiancée Jackie Weber, assembles a motley crew of artists and artistic novices to perform in OddyFest.

‘odd’ man on matt greenfield stages his own theater of the absurd in cleveland heights “Because it might be rude,” the boy

by margi herwald zitelli

answers shyly.


Yes, at most theatrical performances, it

Greenfield wears many hats.

About half an hour ago, he was wearing

would be rude for the audience to talk back

a big, floppy one, as he portrayed a dis-

to the actors. But this is OddyFest,

contented, fiddle-plucking early American

Greenfield’s monthly showcase of unusual

colonist. Now, he’s wearing a black stock-

– bordering on absurd – arts. Here, rude is

ing cap, along with a ratty blue jacket and


rainbow striped socks, as he plays a possi-

Greenfield, 27, launched OddyFest in

bly delusional, possibly sage homeless

Sept. 2008, when he returned to Cleveland


following a post-college stint in Florida. A

Charging forward across the stage on

prolific playwright, Greenfield had long

which he performs (actually a carpeted

lived by the mantra “It’s imperative that you

meeting room at the Cleveland Heights

get (your idea) out of your head and get it

Public Library on Lee Road), Greenfield

said, because you never know until it’s in

demands of the audience, “Why aren’t you

front of an audience.” If he wanted audiences to see his plays,

saying anything?”

he decided he was just going to have to

The audience silently shifts in their

stage them himself.

seats, unsure and waiting to see what he

By day, Greenfield works as a history

will do next. At last, a small boy in the audi-

teacher at Gilmour Academy and lives an

ence speaks up.

outwardly normal suburban life with his

“We’re supposed to be quiet!” he informs Greenfield. “Why?” the actor asks with concern. 38



Solon native Greenfield embraces the absurd in his writing and as a performer.


fiancée Jackie Weber in their newly purchased Beachwood home. By night, he pro-

Jstyle November 2010  

Cleveland lifestyle magazine dedicated to the art of living well.

Jstyle November 2010  

Cleveland lifestyle magazine dedicated to the art of living well.