An electrically and mechanically robust microelectromechanical transducer is formed of a pleated dielectric sheet having patterned electrical conductors on the opposing faces thereof. The pleats define a plurality of spaced apart walls, with each wall including an electrically conductive portion at one side thereof. Positive and negative voltages, applied to opposite faces of the pleated sheet, cause the walls to move towards one another by electrostatic attraction. The walls can also move away from one another by electrostatic repulsion upon application of appropriate voltages. The microelectromechanical transducer may be fabricated by fabricating a sheet with integral pleats or by forming a "self-pleating" flat sheet which forms pleats after conductor fabrication thereon.