Ep. 44: Disability Representation On Stage with National Disability Theatre Co-Founders Talleri McRae and Mickey Rowe
Mickey Rowe was the first autistic actor to play Christopher Boone in the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Talleri McRae is a theatre artist, educator, disability scholar and inclusion/access specialist on a mission to change the nation’s’ narrative about disability culture. The pair were in town to participate in the Universal Access and the Arts Day sponsored by the Office of Raleigh Arts last July. I have a feeling they will be back next year when the City of Raleigh hosts the Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD®) conference.
About the Guests
Talleri McRae is a theatre artist, educator, disability scholar and inclusion/access specialist based in Louisville, Kentucky. While completing her Master of Fine Arts in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities in Austin, Texas, McRae researched how casting choices apply to perceptions of theatre and disability with young people. Now, as an independent contractor working regionally, nationally and internationally, McRae has worked with StageOne Family Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Kentucky Arts Council, Indiana Repertory, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the International Inclusive Arts Network. In addition to her work as a teaching artist for elementary through high school students, McRae is the co‐founder and co-executive director of National Disability Theatre. With a mission to create fully accessible, world-class theatre and storytelling’ change social policy and the nation’s narrative about disability culture and serve as a guiding model in accessibility for the arts and cultural sector, National Disability Theatre’s advisory company is a who’s who of disability theatre artists, including Tony Award winner Ali Stroker and Greg Mozgala. Visit McRae online at https://tallerimcrae.wordpress.com/.
Mickey Rowe was the first autistic actor to play Christopher Boone in the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and one of the first autistic actors to get to play any autistic character. He has been featured in The New York Times, PBS, Teen Vogue, Playbill, NPR, CNN, Huffington Post, Salon, has keynoted for a variety of organizations including Lincoln Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Yale School of Drama. Mickey is the founder and co-executive director of National Disability Theatre, which is currently partnering with La Jolla Playhouse and Chicago’s Goodman Theater to develop and present new productions by Pulitzer Prize-finalist and disabled playwright Christopher Shinn. Cast as Mozart in Syracuse Stage’s upcoming production of Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play Amadeus, Mickey has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Opera and Seattle Shakespeare Company, among others. Currently completing his MFA in Artistic Leadership, Mickey is also a juggler, stilt walker, unicyclist, hat manipulator, and acrobat. Visit Rowe online at https://www.mickeyrowe.me/