Artistic Director & President
Cheryl Kemeny is the president and artistic director of Crystal Theatre, Inc., a non-profit performing arts school and theatre group established in 1987 in South Norwalk, CT. Educated in voice and opera at Hartt College in Hartford, CT, and the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, Kemeny toured the world as half of the Kemeny Sisters for 10 years before founding Crystal Theatre. Her first musical, A Spinning Tale, ran for 5 months in 1990 at the off-Broadway theater, Playhouse 91. Kemeny then devoted the following years to developing her writing skills and acquiring her own theater while teaching her voice students and Crystal Theatre participants for the past 32 years. She has musically directed and/or directed more than 100 stage productions—primarily of her own musicals.
Ms. Kemeny is currently celebrating the release of her first novel—Hungarian Nights Book 1: Bonds of Blood, available on www.amazon.com and at www.audiblebooks.com. The novel’s release preceded the recent tour of her musical Hungarian Nights, written with Mariner Pezza and performed this past July 2019 at New York City’s A.R.T. Theater on 53rd Street as well as in Budapest, Hungary at the Duna Palota Theater, the outdoor theater in Balatonföldvár as well as at the Érzsébet Liget Színház. The show previously was performed in Hungary and the USA with the Ligert Dance Ensemble of Budapest, Hungary in the summer of 2017 and initially received an Equity staged reading at NYMF 2012 and enjoyed a fully staged development production in November 2015 with Hungarian Tibor Paar as guest choreographer of the authentic Hungarian and gypsy dances. A fully orchestrated version of “Deep In the Hungarian Night” was performed by Cidalia Alves with the Norwalk Symphony conducted by Paul Bogaev in August 2016.
Having authored or co-written over 32 musicals, some of her award-winning productions include Ellis Island (Moss Hart, 1996), Living the American Dream (Moss Hart Honorable Mention, 1997), The Snow Queen, (Moss Hart Honorable Mention, 2001) plus a 1997 CT. Commission on the Arts playwright’s grant to enable the writing of Mother Jones and the Children’s Crusade (aka Mother Jones & the March of the Mill Children) which was co-produced by Ben Simpson & Crystal Theatre as a Next Link awardee at the 2014 New York Musical Festival.
Cheryl received grants in 2005 & 2007 Ct. Commission on Culture & Tourism Grants for the productions of the Burning of Norwalk, 1779, and its prequel, Revolution Norwalk, 1777, co-written with husband, Mariner Pezza. “Cleopatra—A Life Unparalleled” was presented at the Midtown International Festival in 2007 winning its Producers Award and again at the NYC Planet Festivities in 2008. It was most recently performed at Crystal Theatre in January 2015. Kemeny’s musicals for youth theater are performed all over the world, from England to Harare, Zimbabwe and from Hong Kong to Calgary, Canada. She is a long-time member of the Dramatists Guild.