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
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,
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
CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS
Solon native Greenfield embraces the absurd in his writing and as a performer.
| JSTYLE | NOVEMBER 2010
fiancée Jackie Weber in their newly purchased Beachwood home. By night, he pro-
Cleveland lifestyle magazine dedicated to the art of living well.