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Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor's Journey to Broadway's Biggest Stage is Mickey Rowe's story of growing up autistic and pushing beyond the restrictions of a special education classroom to shine on the stage. As an autistic and legally blind person, living in a society designed by and for non-disabled people, it was always made clear to Mickey the many things he was apparently incapable of doing. But Mickey did them all anyway--and he succeeded because of, not in spite of, his autism.
Mickey Rowe (he/him) has had a prolific and varied career as an actor, director, consultant, and public speaker; now highly sought after both nationally and internationally. He was the first autistic actor to play Christopher Boone, the lead role in the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. He has also appeared as the title role in the Tony Award-winning play Amadeus and more. Mickey has been featured in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, PBS, Vogue, Playbill, NPR, CNN, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Forbes, and has keynoted at organizations including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Kennedy Center, Yale University, Columbia University, Disability Rights Washington, The Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, the DAC of the South Korean government, and more. Mickey was the founding Artistic Director of National Disability Theatre, which works in partnership with Tony Award-winning companies such as La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Rowe will be in conversation with Emily Ladau, a passionate disability rights activist, writer, storyteller, and digital communications consultant. She is the author of Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally. Emily’s career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. A native of Long Island, New York, Emily graduated with a B.A. in English from Adelphi University in 2013 and now serves on their Board of Trustees. In 2017, she was named as one of Adelphi’s 10 Under 10 Young Alumni. In 2018, she was awarded the Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities. She is the Digital Content and Community Manager for the Disability & Philanthropy Forum. Previously, she served as the founding Editor in Chief of the Rooted in Rights Blog, a platform dedicated to amplifying authentic narratives on the disability experience through an intersectional lens. Emily’s writing has been published in outlets including The New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice, and HuffPost and she has served as a source for outlets including PBS NewsHour, NPR, Vox, and Washington Post. She has spoken before numerous audiences and she co-hosts The Accessible Stall Podcast, a show that dives into disability issues.