Playwright, poet, Jazz singer, producer, installationist, cofounder and coartistic director of The Peekskill Playhouse, the staging of my first and second play took place after soliciting my principal as a fourth grader at PS 59 in the Bronx to produce these shows in the school auditorium. Although I have worn many hats in my professional life, each has been in connection with the arts and has informed my work as a playwright. I have worked in all art disciplines, from performer, singer, actress, visual artist, writer, dancer, radio broadcaster to independent casting director for feature films and television. My return to playwrighting evolved from my work as a poetry performance artist, monologist, and installationist (There Are Reservations About This, Love Blood, Sex Blues and Bukowski, Altars, etc.) while living in Tulsa and Santa Fe and working as a freelance writer, poet, librettist, and teaching artist. My themes often address social injustice including race, gender, age and environmental issues. After living out west, upon returning to New York in late August, 2001, and I have wirtten and produced plays for adults and children that have been staged in NYC, Westchester, and Colorado, co-founded The Peekskill Playhouse, and formed The Crescenzo Mesches Band, a group that celebrates the American Song book, from Jazz standards to contemporary classics. I am a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. Ray Waddle, Editor of Reflections, Yale Divinity Press, said at the 2009 United Nations reception for the Spring, 2009 issue, on the dangers of nuclear proliferation, Mary Crescenzo is an important voic; eshe is the only writer ever to be published in Reflections in two consecutive issues. I am a 2010 finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Works Center National Playwrights Conference and the winner of the 2010 James J. Nicholson Political Poetry Prize sponsored by The Pelham Library. I am a recipient of a Lifetime Arts, Inc. Creative Aging Grant as an teaching artist for older adults at the Hart Library, Shrub Oak, in a course called, Monologue Memoirs: From Page to Stage.
My education and independent studies have influenced my work as a playwright: Lehman College, New York, BA/Art Education; College of New Rochelle, New York, graduate studies in art therapy; American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York; MLS/creative writing, University of Oklahoma.