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Video interview with Sonia Manzano author of "Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx".

Interview: Sonia Manzano – ‘Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx’

Sonia ManzanoActress Sonia Manzano recently attended the 2015 National Book Festival to promote her new memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx. The book covers her childhood, a period in which she faced poverty and domestic violence at home. “I was born in this crazy family, but I had my own set of tools that helped me keep my head above water,” she reflected in a recent interview. She ends the story with her entry into Sesame Street, where she portrayed the role of Maria for over four decades on the popular children’s program.

Manzano also worked as a scriptwriter on the show, winning fifteen Emmy Awards. She felt supported in that endeavor. “I wanted a better, a more accurate representation of Latino culture on the show,” she said, requesting small but meaningful additions on the set like plantains on a fruit cart.

Surprisingly, Manzano’s daughter, Gabi, was not interested in a long term role on Sesame Street. “She wanted to hang out in the Muppet Room with all the Muppets,” Manzano remarked good-naturedly.


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About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros earned a B.A. in Art History on a full scholarship at the University of Virginia. Pat is a frequent reviewer of all things Washington, D.C., but she's also covered events in Canada and London. Highlights in her work include articles on Ian McKellen and Mark Rylance, as well as memorable interviews with Lawrence Gowan of Styx, Tony Bennett, and Kiefer Sutherland. At Awesome Con 2017, Pat moderated a Q&A for voice actors Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat.

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