ENTERTAINMENT
08/07/2018 05:33 pm ET

Actress Ali Stroker Says Her Disability Was Perfect Training For A Theater Career

The first actress in a wheelchair to perform on Broadway told Teen Vogue about how her life experiences gave her an edge.
Ali Stroker attends a Women Who Care Luncheon benefiting United Cerebral Palsy in New York City in 2013.
Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images
Ali Stroker attends a Women Who Care Luncheon benefiting United Cerebral Palsy in New York City in 2013.

Ali Stroker, the first person in a wheelchair to perform on Broadway, says being disabled has worked to her advantage.

Her disability forces her to “be creative, think outside of the box, and solve problems my entire life — not just my career,” she told Teen Vogue in an interview published Tuesday.

Stroker was part of the reality competition “The Glee Project” and won a guest-starring role on “Glee” in 2013. She appeared in Broadway’s “Spring Awakening” in 2015.

The same year she got her gig on the Great White Way, Stroker spoke to Mashable about how she feels her disability has helped her navigate the challenges of being a working actress.

“People telling me what I can and can’t do was kind of like perfect training for this experience of casting and rejection,” she told the site in 2015. “At the end of the day, if they’re not ready for me, why would I want to be a part of that?”

Stroker attends the Tony Awards in 2016 in New York.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images
Stroker attends the Tony Awards in 2016 in New York.

One show seemed more than ready for Stroker. The 31-year-old actress was recently cast in an off-Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” in the role of Ado Annie, a character that is typically portrayed by an able-bodied person. 

“Just because I’m in a chair, doesn’t mean I only go in for roles for women in wheelchairs,” she told Teen Vogue.

She also told Mashable that she auditions all the time for roles that are not specifically characters in wheelchairs.

“I don’t want to be cast because of my wheelchair,” she told the outlet. “So you hope you are really seen in an audition room and you hope you are given opportunities because of what you’re bringing.”

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