Sonia Manzano

Performer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In her one-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Sonia Manzano talks about her role as "Maria" on the classic children series Sesame Street, which she had played continuously for the entire 35-year run of the show up to the time of the interview. She describes her audition for the show, a typical production week and important milestones for her character including her marriage to Luis and the birth of their daughter. She describes her prominence as a role model for Latinos on television, as a result of the popularity of the series. She also talks about key creative talent from the series including: Jim Henson and puppeteer Fran Brill, as well as performers Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado, Loretta Long, Matt Robinson, Will Lee, Roscoe Orman, Linda Bove, Kevin Clash and Carroll Spinney. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 15, 2004 at the Sesame Workshop in New York, NY.

"When I was a kid, there was a lot of chaos going on around me and I did find a certain comfort in television sometimes. I hope I can be remembered as the person who created a moment of safety for a child watching."  

Highlights
Sonia Manzano on the TV she watched as a child and how that influenced her
03:33
Sonia Manzano on the natural aging of her character Maria on Sesame Street
00:58
Sonia Manzano on the first piece she wrote for Sesame Street
03:26
Sonia Manzano on the legacy of Sesame Street
00:30
Sonia Manzano on how she would like to be remembered
00:48
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early years growing up in New York and her own experiences with learning and racism
On her interest in performing and being cast in the original production of Godspell
On her audition for Sesame Street and her realization about what the show was meant to be

Chapter 2

On her Sesame Street character Maria and how she began to write for the show
09:34
On important stories and themes covered on Sesame Street
16:14
On her Sesame Street colleagues Will Lee and Matt Robinson
01:54

Chapter 3

On the cast of Sesame Street
07:17
On the set, Muppets, and puppeteers on Sesame Street
14:45
On her favorite moments on Sesame Street and the legacy of creator Joan Ganz Cooney
05:49

Chapter 4

On the importance of continuing to perform
02:14
On her advice to aspiring writers, the legacy of her character and Sesame Street , and how she'd like to be remembered
08:06
Shows

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

View Show Page
Sonia Manzano on the number of Emmys she's won for writing
00:48

Sesame Street

View Show Page
Sonia Manzano on seeing Sesame Street for the first time in college
00:52
Sonia Manzano on her audition for Sesame Street with Jon Stone and his philosophy about her role
03:45
Sonia Manzano on the natural aging incorporation of her feminism in the character Maria on Sesame Street
01:56
Sonia Manzano on why there weren't many female and ethnic Muppet characters on Sesame Street
01:27
Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street executive producer Dulcy Singer
03:04
Sonia Manzano on Maria's marriage and motherhood storylines on Sesame Street; and how her own daughter was briefly in the cast
08:32
Sonia Manzano on executive producer Dulcy Singer's fight to make a show which would address the death of Mr. Hooper (following actor Will Lee's death)
01:03
Sonia Manzano on the research and script of "Farewell, Mr. Hooper," which addressed the death of regular character "Mr. Hooper"
01:24
Sonia Manzano ("Maria") on Carroll Spinney's performance as "Big Bird" in the episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper," which addressed the death of regular character "Mr. Hooper"
00:51
Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street castmate Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper")
01:16
Sonia Manzano on working on the set of Sesame Street
03:01
Sonia Manzano on the Muppets being the "heart" of Sesame Street  and the legacy of Jim Henson
03:02
Sonia Manzano on working with the Muppets and their puppeteers on Sesame Street
07:42
Sonia Manzano on her favorite Sesame Street moments
01:45
Sonia Manzano on the legacy of Sesame Street
00:39

Sesame Street: "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"

View Show Page
Sonia Manzano on executive producer Dulcy Singer's fight to make a show which would address the death of Mr. Hooper (following actor Will Lee's death)
01:03
Sonia Manzano ("Maria") on the research and script of "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"
01:24
Sonia Manzano ("Maria") on Carroll Spinney's performance as "Big Bird" in the episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"
00:51
Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street castmate Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper")
01:16
Topics

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Sonia Manzano on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" (airdate: November 24, 1983)
03:08

Minorities

View Topic
Sonia Manzano on being cast on Sesame Street
04:13
Sonia Manzano on watching TV as a child and not seeing "herself" depicted in the media
01:48
Sonia Manzano on writing Sesame Street stories on cultural change
03:04
Sonia Manzano on the difficulty for an Hispanic actor to find non-stereotypical roles
01:13

We Cried

View Topic
Sonia Manzano on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" (airdate: November 24, 1983)
03:08
Sonia Manzano on the death of Muppet creator Jim Henson
01:37

Women

View Topic
Sonia Manzano on adding aspects of feminism to her character on Sesame Street
02:28
Professions

Actress

View Profession
Sonia Manzano on being cast on Sesame Street
04:15
Sonia Manzano on the power of being onstage
00:26

Puppeteer

View Profession
Sonia Manzano on why there weren't many female and ethnic Muppet characters on Sesame Street
01:27
Sonia Manzano on working with the Muppeteers on Sesame Street
07:42

Writers

View Profession
Sonia Manzano on writing for children on Sesame Street
02:29
Sonia Manzano on her advice to writers
01:00
Genres

Children's Programming

View Genre
Sonia Manzano on being cast on Sesame Street
04:13
Sonia Manzano on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" (airdate: November 24, 1983)
03:08
Sonia Manzano on how children react to Sesame Street
03:18
Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street creator Joan Ganz Cooney
01:24
Sonia Manzano on the legacy of Sesame Street
00:39
People

Linda Bove

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street colleague Linda Bove
00:27

Fran Brill

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on working with puppeteer Fran Brill on Sesame Street
00:44

Ruth Buzzi

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street colleague Ruth Buzzi
00:36

Kevin Clash

View Interview Page
Sonia Manzano on working with Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash on Sesame Street
01:48

Joan Ganz Cooney

View Interview Page
Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street creator Joan Ganz Cooney
01:24

Emilio Delgado

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on her first impressions of Emilio Delgado on Sesame Street
00:21
Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street colleague Emilio Delgado
01:27

Jose Ferrer

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street guest Jose Ferrer being unable to contain himself when working with Elmo
01:03

Jim Henson

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on the Muppets being the "heart" of Sesame Street  and the legacy of Jim Henson
03:02

Will Lee

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" (airdate: November 24, 1983) and her memories of working with actor Will Lee
04:28

Loretta Long

View Interview Page
Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street colleague Loretta Long
00:28

Bob McGrath

View Interview Page
Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street colleague Bob McGrath
00:47

Roscoe Orman

View Interview Page
Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street colleague Roscoe Orman
02:43

Carmen Osbahr

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on working with Elmo puppeteer Carmen Osbahr on Sesame Street
02:51

Frank Oz

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on working with puppeteer Frank Oz on Sesame Street
00:41

Matt Robinson

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on Matt Robinson creating the Roosevelt Franklin Sesame Street character
00:42
Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street colleague Matt Robinson
00:32

Dulcy Singer

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street executive producer Dulcy Singer
03:04

Caroll Spinney

View Interview Page
Sonia Manzano on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" (airdate: November 24, 1983)
03:08
Sonia Manzano on working with puppeteer Carroll Spinney on Sesame Street
00:23

Jon Stone

View Person Page
Sonia Manzano on her audition for Sesame Street with Jon Stone and his philosophy about her role
04:13

All Interviews

Q
S