Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

‘Sesame Street’ Star Sonia Manzano To Speak at Case Western Reserve University in October

Posted By on Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:13 AM

One of the first Hispanics on national television, Sonia Manzano, who portrayed Maria on Sesame Street from 1971 to 2015 while also writing for the PBS show will speak at Case Western Reserve University as part of the 2019-2020 Power of Diversity Lecture Series.

Entitled "From the South Bronx to Sesame Street (A Puerto Rican Story)," the talk will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Mandel Community Studies Center, Room 115, at 11402 Bellflower Road, on the Case Western Reserve campus.

“So many of us have grown up with the communal stories Sonia Manzano has shared on television and in print and continue to be impacted by her body of work,” says Joy Bostic, interim vice president for the Case Western Reserve Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. “Sonia Manzano’s appearance on our campus is a powerful addition to our diversity education and awareness initiatives.”

Raised in the South Bronx, Manzano first developed her skills and love for performance at Manhattan’s High School of Performing Arts. While still a junior at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, she starred in the original production of the off-Broadway show Godspell. She was then cast in Sesame Street. She also served as a writer, winning 15 Emmys as part of the show’s writing team.

She's performed in a several New York-based stage productions, and her film credits include Deathwish, Follow That Bird and Elmo in Grouchland. As an author, Manzano contributed to the Peabody Award-winning children's series Little Bill and penned a number of her own books. Her first young-adult novel, 2012’s The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, centers on the Latino community during the Civil Rights Movement.

She retired from Sesame Street in 2015 but continues to advocate for education, diversity and children’s issues. She released her memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx in 2015 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 2016.

To RSVP for the event, which is free, visit or email [email protected]

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation