2 years ago, this actor praised a groundbreaking play. Now he's its history-making star.

Two years ago, actor Mickey Rowe said he was jazzed about the success of a new show, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

The play, an adaptation of Mark Haddon’s 2003 book, focuses on the adventures of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy who deciphers a canine murder mystery in the English town of Swindon. The play took home four different awards at the 2015 Tony Awards.

A marquee for the play's London run, back in 2013. Photo by Andy Roberts/Flickr.


It's a great story. But for Rowe, the play had a personal connection as well.

The play's main character, Christopher, has autism — just like Rowe. He was excited to see a popular play put an autistic character's narrative front and center, even though the actor playing Christopher wasn't autistic.

Rowe himself. Photo from Mickey Rowe, used with permission.

"I think that the show has really done a lot to open people's minds to people who think differently," Rowe told Upworthy in 2015. "It's a bold and inspiring decision to produce a story narrated by an autistic character. I can't wait to see where the show and the narrative of Autism Spectrum Disorder goes in the future."

Two years ago, Rowe probably couldn't have guessed the future of the show would one day include him as well.

On May 11, the Indiana Repertory Theatre announced that Rowe will be stepping into the role of Christopher in their 2017 production of the play.

This makes Rowe not only the first autistic actor to play the role, but also one of the first autistic actors to depict any autistic character in a major production.

The Indiana Repertory Theatre. Photo from Mickey Rowe.

"I never dreamed I would get to play Christopher in this show," Rowe wrote to Upworthy after the news of his casting broke. "It is such an honor to get to represent the autism community."

"When I found out I got the role, it brought tears to my eyes," Rowe says.

This kind of representation, not just for characters but in the actors who play them, is important.

"Everyone should be able to go to the theatre or turn on their TV and see somebody like them, someone who thinks like them," Rowe writes. "Everyone should also definitely be able to go to the theatre or turn on their TV and see somebody who is very different than themselves."

There are 56 million Americans with disabilities living in the United States, according to the 2010 Census. That's nearly 20%. But a 2016 analysis of TV shows found that less than 1% of TV characters had disabilities. Furthermore, when a story does feature a character with a disability, more than 9 times out of 10, that character is played by a non-disabled actor.

"Young actors in this country who have disabilities need to be able to see role models who will tell them that if you are different, if you access the world differently, if you need special accommodations, then the world needs you!" Rowe says.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" featuring Rowe's performance will run from September through November 2017.

The play is directed by Risa Brainin and will be performed at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Syracuse Stage.

You can check out a video of Rowe's audition below:

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via The Walt Disney Company / Flickr

One of the ways to tell if you're in a healthy relationship is whether you and your partner are free to talk about other people you find attractive. For many couples, bringing up such a sensitive topic can cause some major jealousy.

Of course, there's a healthy way to approach such a potentially dangerous topic.

Telling your partner you find someone else attractive shouldn't be about making them feel jealous. It's probably also best that if you're attracted to a coworker, friend, or their sibling, that you keep it to yourself.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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