Friday, March 16, 2012

Sonia Manzano (1950-)

Sonia Manzano has been a presence on Public Television since the 1970's.
Raised in the South Bronx, she attended the High School of Performing Arts. A scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and in her junior year, she came to New York to star in the original production of the off-Broadway show, Godspell.
Within a year Sonia was cast as "Maria" on Sesame Street. After ten years as an actress, Sonia began writing scripts for the series and has fifteen Emmy Awards as part of the Sesame Street writing staff. Sonia also wrote for the Peabody Award winning children's series, Little Bill, for Nickelodeon and for a short time wrote a parenting column for the Sesame Workshop web site called Talking OutloudShe returned to the New York stage starring in The Vagina Monologues and The Exonerated.
Sonia has received awards from: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington DC, and The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and she recieved an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Nortre Dame University in 2004. Closer to home, she was inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame in 2005.
Sonia was twice nominated for an Emmy Award as "Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series." 
Her first picture book No Dogs Allowed! was published in April 2004. General Mills gave away 1.5 million copies of No Dogs Allowed! in boxes of Cheerios, as part of their Spoonfuls of Reading program. No Dogs Allowed! was turned into a musical which was presented by the Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theater in Coral Gables, Florida on June 2006. Her second book A Box Full Of Kittens was published June 2007. Currently she is writing a blog for Catalina Magazine and working on a memoir.
Manzano enjoys traveling the country on the lecture circuit, enfusing humor into serious topics. These are some titles of her speeches: Diversity, The Impact of Televison on Children, The Empowerment of Women, Literacy, How Staffs Should Function, Would Elmo Make A Good Board Member? Can Muppets Read? Can Muppet Be A Health Nut? 123 Who Let Latin' On TV? Critical Thinking and Public Television, Families/The First Teachers. My Immigrant Story.
She lives in New York City with her husband Richard, and their daughter Gabriela. For more informaion please visit her website

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