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Sonia Manzano at UAlbany 4/30 for The Creative Life conversation and Selected Shorts

Sonia Manzano
DAVID GONZALEZ
/
Fred Rogers Productions
Sonia Manzano

Sonia Manzano, the actor and author who played Maria for nearly five decades on "Sesame Street" will be the guest in this spring’s edition of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany, appearing at the Performing Arts Center at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. She will be in conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue. That evening, also at UAlbany, Manzano will perform as part of a Selected Shorts live event which will feature Manzano along with Patricia Kalember, and Bhavesh Patel.

Manzano, a first-generation American of Latino descent, was raised in the South Bronx and graduated from the High School of Performing Arts. She went to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on scholarship and in her junior year, came to New York to star in the original production of the off-Broadway show “Godspell.” Within a year, Manzano joined the PBS children's show "Sesame Street" and eventually began writing scripts for the series. In addition to her stage and screen work, Sonia Manzano has written several children’s books, a young adult novel, and the memoir “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.” Her forthcoming novel, "Coming Up Cuban," will be released by Scholastic in August.

Manzano has won 15 Emmys for television script writing. She received the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education, and was inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame. She is the creator of "Alma's Way," an animated series from Fred Rogers Productions which airs on PBS KIDS.

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Sarah has been a public radio producer for over a decade. She grew up in Saranac Lake, New York where she worked part-time at Pendragon Theatre all through high school and college. She graduated from UAlbany in 2006 with a BA in English and started at WAMC a few weeks later as a part-time board-op in the control room. Through a series of offered and seized opportunities she is now the Senior Contributing Producer of The Roundtable and Producer of The Book Show.
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