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Connections: Sonia Manzano discusses playing "Maria" on Sesame Street

Sep 25, 2017

For 44 years, you could find actress Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street playing the iconic character, "Maria." While loyal Sesame Street viewers knew her as a cheerful and supportive friend to Big Bird, Elmo, and Oscar, Manzano's role on the show was more than meets the eye: she was the first Latina woman many viewers ever saw on television, and she won 15 Emmys for writing scripts that explored a number of issues, including multiculturalism.

Manzano is the keynote speaker for the YWCA of Rochester's Empowering Women Luncheon on Wednesday, but first, she joins us on Connections. We talk to her about her journey to Sesame Street, how her tumultuous childhood influenced her career, and her thoughts about diverse casting on screen. Our guests:

  • Sonia Manzano, actress and author
  • Jean Carroll, president and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County