Matt Rieger (1971 - 2021)
In addition to acting as Managing Director and Ensemble Member of the Curious Theatre Branch, Matt was an actor, director, sports coach, teacher, and prolific writer.
Matt served as Managing Director for the Curious Theatre Branch beginning in 2007, notable for his financial stewardship. He co-founded with Adam Rosenberg, Illegal Drama, from 2007 to 2010. At the time of his death, Matt had completed the recording and editing (with Ralph Loza of Experimental Sound Studio) of his serialized radio play, Aviva Green: The Rebirth of Bleak, a prequel to his 2018 stage play Crossing Aviva. His one-act holiday play, Xmas Time at Lost Pines, was Curious’s last full production before the pandemic shut down theaters, and his new work, Jimmy and the Nickels, is slated as the next Curious production.
Matt’s other written works for stage included Playing God, My Dinner with Joe, A Part of the Game, The Flowers are Dead, and 12 Jackets. With Curious, he also directed Beau O’Reilly’s One Boppa: Two Acts, Tattered and Wincing, and Our Kate Takes a Trip.
Matt appeared in Curious productions of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros; Jenny Magnus’s Still in Play: A Performance of Getting Ready; Beau O’Reilly’s The Madelyn Trilogy, One Boppa: Two Acts, Tattered and Wincing, Our Kate Takes a Trip, March!, and Last Week; Bryn Magnus’s Black River Falls; and his own works, The Flowers Are Dead, 12 Jackets, Crossing Aviva, and My Dinner with Joe. With Illegal Drama, Matt wrote and performed in The Skyway Is Falling, Misplaced Son, Trash, and Never Enough Nothing. He appeared in various productions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Links Hall, Center Portion, Prop Thtr, Theater Oobleck, the Side Project, and in the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins and Rhinoceros Theater Festivals.
Matt grew up in Youngstown OH, got a BA from the University of Toledo; a J.D. and an MA in English from Cleveland State University; and an MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute.
Matt was a rare bird; an artist who preferred the background, emitting his brand of authentic cool, raising up the project, whatever it was, by his presence in it. Those who knew him are grateful to Matt for all his work over all the years, and all his love.