Mickey Rowe is the first American actor with autism to land a major role on a professional stage playing Christopher, a 15-year-old teenager on the autism spectrum.
The Tony-Award winning play is based on the best-selling novel, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The play is set to open this fall at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and later at the New York’s Syracuse Stage. The play is about the journey of a very curious 15-year old affected by autism that investigates the murder of his neighbor’s dog. The play aims to shed a light on individuals living with disabilities and the internal struggles that they may face on a day to day basis. “As an autistic, I have felt vulnerable my entire life, but to be vulnerable on stage is no biggie.” Rowe told the Huffington Post in an interview.
Rowe had intensive speech therapy throughout primary school, but it was not until the age of 21 that he was diagnosed with autism. When he was diagnosed with autism, he said he was overcome with a sense of relief and understanding about his diagnosis. “It was such a relief because if was something that explained my whole life and all the things that were difficult or different about me. There was a name for it, and a lot of other people who though, understood, and acted like I did”, Rowe told the Huffington Post. A recent report published by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that less than 1 percent of all television shows portrays characters with disabilities. Rowe opens up about the importance of proper media representation of individuals living with autism. In addition, the report found that more than 95% of characters with disabilities are played by able-bodied individuals on the big screen. “This means that all too often we learn about autism on TV, in the movies, or on stage we are learning about autism from others instead of going straight to the source and learning from autistic adults”, Rowe told Playbill.
Rowe hopes to be a role model for thousands of autistic children and young adults. The play hopes to shed a light on individuals living with autism and break through stereotypes.