Naomi Greenleaf (Conservatory Artist)

Naomi was born in Pasadena, California, on April 1, 1947. She grew up on a farm in Cucamonga, California, where her family grew orange trees and raised chickens. In the eighth grade, she wrote the script for a comic Purim play for her Jewish school, as well as the Christmas play for the eighth grade class. She graduated from Alta Loma High School in January of 1965, and 43 years later graduated cum laude from CSU Dominguez Hills in 2008.


Naomi was an apprentice at the Claremont Shakespeare Festival in the summer of 1964, and took a playwriting class during her time at CSU. Some of her credits include Overtones (Harriet), Nine Girls (Frieda), Frankenstein (Elizabeth), Under Milk Wood (Polly Garter, Mrs. Cherry Owen, Mrs. Willy-Nilly) and Wedding Band (Miss Thelma).


Getting To Know... Naomi

Tell us about a transformative educational experience. 


I was introduced to Shakespeare in the 8th grade and read the part of Helena from A Midsummer Night's Dream in class. I also went with the class to see a knockout production of Hamlet at the University of Redland's 1961.



What about transformative professional experiences? 


I played three roles, including Polly Garter, in Sonoma State University's production of Under Milk Wood in 1979.



Why I do what I do... 


I have written some plays and I'm hoping to see them produced. Theater excites me because it offers me an opportunity to use my imagination and to interpret life through my characters and my interactions with other characters on stage. Theater has always seemed, to me, to be a kind of "super-life," a distillation or crystallization of the essence of life - something that gives form and meaning to ordinary existence.



What about ECT inspires you? 


Many things: the opportunity to learn the concrete, step-by-step practices to develop the craft of acting; the incredible positive energy, support, encouragement, and camaraderie of the ECT members; and the true high quality of the productions. I feel deeply honored to be a part of this company.



Where have you traveled? Where would you like to visit? 


New York City, New York; Ely, Minnesota; Athens, West Virginia (1969); One-week tour of Europe, which included Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Edinburgh (1972). I don't dream of traveling anywhere.



My favorite "day-off" event would be... 


I'd go hiking through the redwoods.



If I had one million dollars I would... 


Buy a pristine redwood forest to save it from the chainsaws or buy a Rembrandt painting and hang it in my apartment - or both!



Did you know... 


I defy Daylight Savings Time. I keep my watch and clock set to standard time all year, and, during the phase of Daylight Savings, I simply make a mental adjustment. For instance, if you told me to meet you at eight o'clock, I would meet you at seven. In thirty-eight years I have had only four slips.


I call myself a Jewish-Christian-Feminist. I was born into a secular Jewish family, but as an adult I became convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. I belong to both a synagogue and a church and I am delighted to see the disappearance of prejudice and hostility that formerly existed between the two faith groups. I sing in the High Holy Days Choir at Temple Beth-El here in San Pedro.


On the family farm I used to help my father feed the chickens. I would stand on the feed cart pulled by our donkey, Josephine, as she pulled the cart up and down the rows of chicken cages.


I studied horticulture at City College of San Francisco and worked for a year in several nurseries, and for two years as a part-time gardener. I also worked as a library clerk and a nurses' aide. I love to swim, I sing, I play the flute, and I am a compulsive writer. I have written seven short stories, three one-acts, one full-length play, sixteen sonnets and a few other poems, and have started work on some longer fiction pieces. I will probably die with a pencil in my hand.

Naomi's Favorites


  1. Cheesecake


  1. Walking
  2. Swimming
  3. Bicycling


  1. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf


  1. Scrabble

TV Series


I don't watch TV.


  1. Ear for music and words
  2. Fertile Imagination
  3. Sense of form and order
  4. Diligent/disciplined

Mentors/Role Models

  1. My aunt, Lucille Blatt (singer)
  2. My uncle, Raphael Soyer (painter)
  3. My mother, Pearl Blatt Letz (poet and pianist)
  4. Fran Feldman (spiritual guide)
  5. Sandra Witt (English teacher)
  6. Virginia Woolf (writer)



  1. I swim,
  2. Play the flute
  3. Sing in my church choir.


Naomi's 50 Year Time-Capsule

  • The stories, plays, and poems that I've written
  • My boxes of choral music
  • My flute and music


  • My garden tools
  • My swimsuit
  • My books


  • Letters from friends, especially Kit Sturtevant-Stuart
  • Meditation Bell
  • Anthology of Plays