Mickey Rowe cast in ‘Curious Incident’

A fascinating article about the casting of the first actor on the autism spectrum as Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time:

Having been diagnosed with autism at age 21, Rowe is one of the first actors with autism to play a character with autism on a major professional stage ― and the very first to play Christopher in the critically-acclaimed show set to premiere this fall at the Indiana Repertory Theatre before traveling to New York’s Syracuse Stage…

In an email to HuffPost, Rowe explained how living with autism not only prepared him for his role as Christopher, but his life as an actor. “Autistics use scripts every day,” he wrote. “We use scripting for daily situations that we can predict the outcome of, and stick to those scripts. My job as an autistic is to make you believe that I am coming up with words on the spot, that this is spontaneous, the first time the conversation has ever happened in my life; this is also my job on stage as an actor.”

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The Lincoln Center’s 10 Facts about Relaxed Performance

This is a great introduction to relaxed performance from the Lincoln Center in New York. I especially like point 8:

Staff are ready to lend a hand, and a fidget. Front of house staff are trained and available to answer questions, provide information, and make sure that the audience member’s experience is enjoyable. They can also provide accommodations, such as headphones or fidgets, for when it gets too loud or someone needs to re-focus their attention.

The provision of fidgets is a new development, and seems to be a promising addition to best practice. The Autism Arts Festival provided free audience packs, including a fidget, communication badges (green for ‘happy to talk’, yellow for ‘happy to talk to people I know’, red for ‘please don’t talk to me’), earplugs, pens and Post-Its. Similarly, a local toy supplier sponsored free fidgets at a recent relaxed concert in Princeton, New Jersey.