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Mickey  Rowe

Mickey Rowe

Founder & Artistic Director of National Disability Theatre


Mickey Rowe (he/him) has had a prolific and varied career as an actor, director and public speaker; now highly sought after both nationally and internationally. He was the epicenter of significant publicity when he became 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.” This also made him the first autistic actor to ever play any autistic character in a professional performance setting. He has appeared as the title role in the Tony Award winning play “Amadeus” and more. Read More >

As an autistic child and through school Mickey had no friends but found sanctuary as an audience member in theater and the performing arts. Mickey's tenacious pursuit of his goals, and his belief that our differences and perceived weaknesses are actually our strengths have allowed him to live his dream. As an autistic man Mickey is also a husband and a father, learning how to effectively communicate in the face differences through all types of relationships, professional and romantic. Mickey now teaches best practices and is changing the industries in which he works. He chronicles his inspiring story of growing up autistic and pushing beyond the restrictions of a special education classroom to shine on the stage in his forthcoming book, Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor's Journey to Broadway's Biggest Stage (2022).

His casting in the lead role of “Curious Incident” led to a multitude of high-profile interviews and speaking engagements. He has been featured in the New York Times, PBS, Teen Vogue, Playbill, NPR, CNN, Huffington Post, Salon, and has keynoted at organizations including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Yale School of Drama, The Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, the DAC of the South Korean government, and more. Rowe was set to star as Mozart in “Amadeus,” when COVID-19 struck New York, resulting in the opening night also becoming the closing night. However, PBS filmed the historic performance.

Mickey is the founder and 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 and more. NDT productions re-imagine disability and universal design as key storytelling and design elements showcasing that people can be successful not just in spite of their challenges, but also because of them. National Disability Theatre's productions feature only professional artists, artisans, and designers with disabilities. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Actor With Autism Takes Center Stage | Great Big Story

Why Autistic Actors Should Be Cast In More Roles | Huffington Post

Mozart Meets the Emperor and Salieri | Amadeus

Speech Topics

Integrated & Equitable Education

Mickey empowers educators with the best practices of Universal Design and emboldens all students to succeed regardless of their challenges.

Diversity & Inclusion

Mickey speaks to the power of diversity in our workplaces and in our world.

Our Differences Are Our Strengths

Mickey shows that when we think creatively and bravely, that it is actually our differences and perceived weaknesses that are our biggest strengths.


Mickey is an expert in the fields of disability, universal design, and autism. Mickey is able to articulate to parents and medical professionals what autism is like from the inside and the why behind many behaviors in a way that few can. Mickey helps medical professionals understand the differences between the medical model of disability and the social model and how they can benefit from learning about both.

Making Change

How to effectively advocate for yourself and others and make the change you want to see in the world a reality.

Tenacious Pursuit of Your Goal

As an autistic man Mickey had overcome so many barriers to live his dream as a professional actor and director. In a time when disability was not valued Mickey had to carve his own path and educate others on his own value.

Effective Communication in the Face of Differences

As an autistic man Mickey has carved his own path communicating with people very different from himself professionally as a director at some of the nation's largest Tony Award winning theaters, as a husband, romantic partner, and as a father.