SEASON 40 PRESS KIT:  ABOUT THE SHOW
CAST BIOS
Download PDF

Alison Bartlett O'ReilyDesiree CasadoEmilio Delgado
Christopher Lawrence KnowingsLoretta LongSonia Manzano
Bob McGrathAlan MuraokaRoscoe Orman
Nitya Vidyasagar












Alison Bartlett O'Reilly
(Gina)
has been a Sesame Street cast member for 20 years. Bartlett began acting at the age of 12 in John Guare's production of Landscape of the Body directed by Gary Sinise. Bartlett's other theatre credits include: the role of "Donna" in the Broadway production of David Rabe's Hurly Burly directed by Mike Nichols; Off Broadway in Second Stage's production of Jersey City directed by Risa Bramon in which she starred as "Magaly;" Ubu Repertory Theatre's Family Portrait directed by Shirley Kaplan; and Ensemble Studio Theatre's 2006 Marathon in 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd directed by Jamie Richards. 

Bartlett's television credits include recent guest leads on Canterbury's Law, Rescue Me (recurring guest star), Law & Order: Criminal Intent, HBO's The Sopranos, The Jury, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Queens Supreme, and ABC's after-school special, It's Only Rock & Roll, in which she received an Emmy nomination. Her film credits include the independent film Sanctified and the short film Euthanasia with first time director Adrian Grenier.  

A lifelong New Yorker, Ms. Bartlett resides in New York City with her three children.


Desiree Casado
(Gabi)
is now in her 15th season with Sesame Street. Casado plays the daughter of Maria and Luis. She has been acting professionally since the age of seven. Her film credits include I Like it Like That, Bed of Roses, Joe's Apartment, Wishful Thinking, Gloria, Anamorph, and the independent film Juicy. She has also appeared in various commercials and also played a small role on the soap opera One Life To Live. 

Performing and dancing are her passions, along with working with young children. She is currently in college and working on her Master's degree in Elementary Education. 


Emilio Delgado
(Luis)
is originally from the border town of Calexico, California. He began his career in Los Angeles and came to New York in 1971 when he was cast as "Luis" and continues in that role, happy to be a pioneer in the positive portrayal of a Latino on television. Knowing that his performance as "Luis" has enriched the lives of so many children has given Delgado a deep sense of accomplishment, enriching his own life with new friends, travel and fun. All of this good fortune is surpassed only by the joy of working with so many talented and wonderful people on Sesame Street. 

Over the years, Delgado has received many awards for his contributions to the show. He has volunteered his time and talent to programs like Headstart, New York's 52nd Street Project and many others. When not on Sesame Street, Delgado performs in a variety of film, television and theater roles. He can be seen in episodes of Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the network series Cupid.

 In addition to acting, Delgado loves to sing and has packed concert halls across America singing and performing songs from Sesame Street. Recently, he was delighted to record Joe Raposo's "Sing" with the popular band Pink Martini.


Christopher Lawrence Knowings
(Chris)
was born in the Bronx, New York. At the age of 13, with the encouragement of one of his teachers, he landed a co-starring role in director Spike Lee's film, Crooklyn. After several television appearances, Knowings then helped launch the television career of his twin sister, Christy, landing her a role on the sketch comedy All That for Nickelodeon. A few years later, he was cast as "Lamar Johnson" on the Nickelodeon series Taina, marking the first time siblings had starred on separate shows for the network. From there, he began appearing in commercials, radio ads and television shows such as New York Undercover, Law & Order, and 100 Centre Street. Knowings has completed his third season of Sesame Street, his character "Chris" is the nephew of Gordon and Susan, and works in Hooper's with Alan. 


Loretta Long
(Susan)
has been with Sesame Street since its first season. Before that, she appeared on the public television program Soul, and in summer stock productions of Guys and Dolls, Milk and Honey and Sweet Charity. She is a distinguished former schoolteacher with a doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Long is a published author, visiting scholar and educational consultant. She plays Susan, Gordon's wife and Miles' mother. Over the years, her character has evolved from housewife to nurse to working mother.


Sonia Manzano
(Maria)
is a first-generation American of Latino descent who has affected the lives of millions of parents and children since the 1970s, when she was offered an opportunity to play "Maria" on Sesame Street. 

Manzano was raised in the South Bronx where her involvement in the arts was inspired by teachers who encouraged her to audition for the High School of Performing Arts. She was accepted there and began her career as an actress. A scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and in her junior year, she came to New York to star in the original production of the off-Broadway show Godspell. Within a year, Manzano joined the production of Sesame Street where she eventually began writing scripts for the series. Manzano has 15 Emmy Awards to date as part of the Sesame Street writing staff. 

Manzano has performed on the New York stage, in the critically acclaimed theater pieces The Vagina Monologues and The Exonerated. She has written for the Peabody Award-winning children's series, Little Bill, and has written a parenting column for the Sesame Workshop web site called "Talking Out Loud." Her children's book, No Dogs Allowed, published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing in 2004, was selected by the General Mills initiative Spoonfuls of Stories. It has been turned into a children's musical, with a production at the Actor's Playhouse, in Coral Gables, Florida. Her second book, A Box Full Of Kittens, was published in 2007.

Manzano received The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award in Washington DC, and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education in 2003. She received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Notre Dame University in 2005. Closer to home, she is proud to have been inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame in 2004. She was voted one of the most influential Hispanics by People Magazine en Español (February 2007). 

She was twice nominated for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series. She has served on the March of Dimes board, and the board of the George Foster Peabody Awards and the board of Symphony Space, a New York City theatrical institution.


Bob McGrath
(Bob)
is an original cast member of Sesame Street. An accomplished singer with seven children's albums to his credit, he performs family pop concerts and has appeared with more than 100 symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Canada. 

McGrath has authored eight books including Uh-Oh Gotta Go (on potty training) and Oops, Excuse Me Please (on manners). He co-authored an educational music curriculum book for Alfred Publishing Co. called Music For Fun, used by teachers from kindergarten to second grade. His Rhythm Band Set produced by Rhythm Band Instruments is a Parent's Choice Award winner. McGrath co-authored Curriculum Connections with Educational Activities, a professional development video and CD for teachers of pre-K and 1st grade, using music to develop six literacy skills. He has a recording company called Bob's Kids Music, which encompasses his seven albums. The "Baby Record" and "Sing Me a Story" have won both Parents Choice Awards and The Children's Music Web Award in 2002. McGrath released his seventh CD, "Christmas Sing Along" last year with Mike Renzi.


Alan Muraoka
(Alan)
joined the Sesame Street ensemble 12 seasons ago. His stage credits include the Broadway productions of Pacific Overtures, The King and I, My Favorite Year, Shogun, Mail, and Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer, as well as the national tours of Miss Saigon, M. Butterfly and Anything Goes. Muraoka has appeared on numerous network television programs and film credits include It Could Happen to You, 30 Rock, Showtime's Brotherhood, The Tonight Show, As The World Turns, Guilding Light, One Life To Live, and Day of Independence, a short film by Academy Award-winning director Chris Tashima. 

As a director, his 1998 production of Falsettoland for the National Asian American Theater Company received high praise from The New York Times, and was revived in 2007 for the first ever National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York City. He directed a short film for Sesame Street called, "Field Trip Stories: A Kid's Yoga Class" which premiered in season 39. Other directing credits include: Disney's High School Musical (Casa Mañana – Ft. Worth, MUNY – St. Louis, and the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma – Oklahoma City); Up In The Air (Associate Director, Kennedy Center); Opening Doors at the Brava Theatre in San Francisco; John Tartaglia's Ad-Liberty at Joe's Pub; TLC (Three Loud Chicks) at Birdland; The Leading Men 1, 2 & 3 benefit concerts for BC/EFA; Empty-Handed for Musicals Tonight; and Ann Harada's Broadway Spotlight at ARS/Nova. Other New York directing credits include: the world premiere of Karaoke Stories for the IMUA Theatre Company; Screaming Like a Fool, a revue of the music of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler; and A Tribute to Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall, a homage to the famed concert with Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews. He is a member of the SSDC and the Lincoln Center Director's Lab. In the summer of 2009, he directed Disney's High School Musical 2 at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, as well as a New York benefit of Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion! for the National Asian American Theatre Company. 

A UCLA graduate, Muraoka received a musical theater performance scholarship underwritten by Carol Burnett. He is also active with many Asian American organizations and was honored with the Inspiration Award from APEX, a mentoring organization in New York City, and the Role Model of the Year award from the FCC (Families with Children From China). His character on Sesame Street is the proprietor of Hooper's Store, which was recently redesigned to reflect a more authentic urban store. Muraoka, an Asian-American of Japanese descent, is not only an important part of that change, but his warm and open character has helped make Hooper's Store the heart of the Sesame Street community. For more information, please visit his website at www.alanmuraoka.net

Roscoe Orman (Gordon) is an accomplished actor whose credits extend to television, stage, and screen. He studied at New York's Circle in the Square Theatre School and The Manhattan School of Music and made his acting debut with the Next Stage Theatre Company in 1962. He toured for two years with the Free Southern Theater and was an original member of the New Lafayette Theatre Company where he performed in many plays including Whose Got His Own, The Duplex and The Fabulous Miss Marie. Orman has worked extensively on the New York stage with the Negro Ensemble Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Federal Theatre and American Place Theatre, where in 1993 he enjoyed critical success in the title role of The Confessions of Stepin Fetchit. He appeared as "Gabriel" in the 1988 Broadway production of Fences and starred in the Delaware Theatre Company's production of Driving Miss Daisy. 

Orman's film credits include the title role in Willie Dynamite, F/X, Striking Distance, New Jersey Drive, Drive-By, Thirty Days, Twilight's Last Gleaming, Coney Island, and Compliments of The Serpent. On television he has been seen on such shows as Sanford and Son, Kojak, All My Children, Law And Order, Sex In The City, Cosby, and The Wire. He has also narrated the TV documentaries: Langston Hughes:The Dreamkeeper and Look I'm In College for PBS; Children's Health and Heritage Of The Black West on the Discovery Channel; U.S. Presidents on the History Channel; and Images in Black and White for ESPN. He has authored two books, Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor and Ricky & Mobo, a children's book which he also illustrated. In 2008, he was named Chief Storyteller and national Spokesperson for AudibleKids, the nation's leading provider of downloaded audio books. The 40th season of Sesame Street marks Orman's 35th as Gordon, a science teacher who is married to Susan and the father of Miles.

Nitya Vidyasagar (Leela) returns to Sesame Street for her second season.  Originally from India, she received her BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. She is primarily a stage performer whose recent theater credits include The Glorious Ones (Lincoln Center Theatre), Love's Labor's Lost (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Serendib (Ensemble Studio Theater) and Cecilia's Last Tea Party (Passage Theatre Company). Vidyasagar's first feature film, Split Ends, is currently on the festival circuit. As the first Indian-American character on the show, Vidyasagar brings her vibrant culture and heritage to the neighborhood of Sesame Street.