A. Morán Martínez
MANUEL A. MORÁN is originally from Puerto Rico. From an early age, Morán has worked in television, film and the professional theatre as a performer, director, writer and producer in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the United States. He has been considered Puerto Rico’s Youngest Director & Producer. He is the founder and CEO/Executive Director of SEA (Society of the Educational Arts, Inc.).
He holds a B.A. in Humanities and Drama from the University of Puerto Rico, a M.A. in Educational and Musical Theatre from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Theatre from New York University. Manuel has also studied at Temple University in Philadelphia, Holborn Center/NYU in London, and The Menéndez Pelayo University in Santander, Spain.
In 1996, he was awarded “Grand Marshall” of the 1st National Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC, representing Youth and Self-esteem. In November 1997, he was awarded a Citation of Honor by Ms. Claire Schulman, Queens Borough President. In 1999 he was awarded Puerto Rican of the Year by the Puerto Rican Association of Queens. Dr. Morán also received the prestigious 2002 Comite Noviembre Award – “Lo Mejor de nuestra comunidad,” the 2002 Latino Expo Cultural Award, selected by the NY City Council; and the 2002 Cultural Award from Teatro Natives, among several other Citations of Honor. He is particularly proud of a 1999 Citation from the Mayor and City Council of his hometown Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. Manuel was awarded the EL Award 2005 from El Diario-La Prensa in New York City, recognizing the most prominent Latinos in New York City.
Manuel has served on many local and national Boards. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors of the American Chapter of UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionette), the world's oldest theatre organization. He is the first Latino ever to be elected to the Board. Recently, he was elected at the 20th UNIMA's World Congress, at Perth Australia, to be part of the International Board of UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) and to be President of UNIMA's North America Commission. He also serves on the CSV Cultural Center Board of Directors and on the Advisory Board of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA). Manuel is an Alumni/Member of AmeriCorps, where he completed two years of National Service.
He was chosen as one of the Nation’s Top 15 Young Latino Leaders, to participate in the prestigious fellowship/exchange program - Programa para Jóvenes Líderes Hispanos, sponsored by the Embassy of Spain, The Ortega & Gasset Foundation and The Menéndez Pelayo University. During this program, he traveled throughout Spain and met with distinguished Statesmen and dignitaries.
In 1985, Manuel founded SEA, Inc. and since then he has been responsible for creating programs that bring the arts to Hispanic/Bilingual students and communities in their native language. One such program is the Integrated-Arts-Program, which is currently providing training in the arts (dance, music, theatre/drama, puppetry, and the visual arts) for students Pre-K to seniors. In addition, through this innovative program, Dr. Morán has built a bilingual artist/teacher staff of over 60, representing over 15 Latin American countries and over 22 countries in total, thus making SEA one of the most culturally diverse Arts-in-Education organizations in New York. Manuel opened SEA’s home-based theatre, Teatro SEA @ Los Kabayitos Puppet & Children’s Theater on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in August of 1999. Teatro SEA is New York's ONLY Latino Children's Theatre, (possibly the only Latino Children's Theatre in the United States).
In addition to all of the above, Manuel directs and oversees all operations of SEA/Puerto Rico. SEA/Puerto Rico is currently working throughout the island providing Arts-in-Education and literacy enhancement programs to children and adults. Overall, SEA’s programs are reaching over 100,000 individuals each year. SEA/Florida will be launching its operations in 2006.
Perhaps most notably, Manuel is responsible for re-establishing professional children’s theatre in Spanish in New York City, a tradition that was abandoned for more than 18 years. For the past several years, SEA has presented hundreds of educational performances, reaching thousands children and young adults throughout New York City. In just a few years, Manuel has built a professional repertory of 18 shows for children and adults, which tour throughout the US and Puerto Rico. Furthermore, he writes, produces and directs most of SEA’s shows.
As an actor, Manuel has performed in theatre as well as being featured on many television programs in the US, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. His real passion is for live theatre, particularly creating and performing in musicals and puppet theatre.