Winner of the 2017 Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship, Media Access Awards
Beverly Hills, Nov. 18 – If you see a man walking down the streets of Seattle with a blue V-neck t-shirt with no coat or jack and with headphones in his ears, then you may have spotted actor Mickey Rowe.
He is the first actor with autism to play the leading role in the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Syracuse Stage production of the Tony-winning Best Play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and received the 2017 Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship at the Media Access Awards this year. The ceremony honors individuals who are showcasing the disability narrative.
“This has been such an amazing year for disability all over in the media and I am so honored to get to be here today,” Rowe said while accepting the award. “I cannot wait to see what the next year and the next decade has for people with disabilities and inclusion of people with disabilities.”
Rowe did not begin speaking until he was older and created his own sign language to communicate. He usually memorizes his lines before going into an audition as not to read the cue cards. This is due to being legally blind in addition to having autism.
He also has acted in many performances at theatres around Seattle. He has performed at the Seattle Opera, the Seattle’s Children Theatre, the Seattle Shakespeare Company, Syracuse Stage, Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT), Book-It Repertory Theatre, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Washington Ensemble Theatre, The Ashland New Plays Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Presents, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Midnight Projects and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In addition to being a talented actor, Rowe has spoken out about how inclusion of cast members and actors with disabilities is important and the dangers of negative portrayals of such characters with disabilities in Teen Vogue, NPR, Playbill, CNN’s Big Story and on many other news platforms. He also is the Artistic Director of Arts at the Waterfront, a theatre and philanthropic theatre company that works with homeless teen artists. Also in the realm of philanthropy, he is involved in The Trevor Project, The City Seattle and Teen Feed.
“When we cast actors with disabilities in roles with disabilities, it not only affects our own industry, but we get to show all the other business leaders across the country in all sorts of fields that you can hire people with disabilities, we can do the work at the highest level and we get the job done,” Rowe said at the awards ceremony. “Employers have no reason to discriminate against developmental disabilities or any other kind of disability. What power and responsibility that we all have that we get to make that much change for so many other people in our industry and hundreds of other industries around the country.”
Rowe also is a professional juggler, unicyclist, plate spinner, hat manipulator, stilt walker, puppeteer and more. He now lives in Seattle with his wife, two-year-old son and seven-month-old son.
Read the profile on Katy Sullivan awarding Mickey Rowe with the award on our website: https://www.respectability.org/2017/11/18/actress-paralympic-katy-sullivan-presents-award-mickey-rowe-media-access-awards/.