Actress Ali Stroker says she, "may be the first actress in a wheelchair in American Musical Theatre to have a leading role in a professional musical." Ms. Stoker will play the role of Olive in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Paper Mill Playhouse, running at the Millburn theatre through February 13, 2011. "As a kid growing up in Jersey, it was my life long goal to perform at Paper Mill Playhouse," said Ali. "Now my dream has come true."
Stroker is a graduate of Paper Mill Playhouse's Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory, and has long been a champion for the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Stroker has starred in several productions at New Players, Playwrights Horizon and American Theatre of Actors.
See Ali on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watchv=taRiqxt8REA
Actor James Huffman says, "Injured in a car accident at the age of two, Ali grew up in a wheelchair. Recently, she graduated from the Musical Theatre Conservatory at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. The summer before her senior year, she made the cut for an summer theater program in Amsterdam. She played Sister Aloysius in a European production of 'Doubt.' She is an actress, singer, writer and dancer... that's right... dancer."
From NorthJersey.com: ACTRESS IS WHEELCHAIR-UNBOUND:
"Ali Stroker found her gift at a young age and never let go.... In her final months at school, Ali signed with a talent agent and has since filmed a commercial for MasterCard. Disney casting has an eye on her, according to her agent, Jed Abrahams of NYC's The Talent House. Abrahams remembers that the first time he met with her, she dropped her pen. He recalled feeling uncomfortable, not sure whether he should help her. But she quickly spun around and picked up the pen. "She's totally comfortable in her own skin, that's something non-disabled people should aspire to," he said."
Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343 or online at www.papermill.org. Paper Mill Playhouse is a nationally recognized leader in accessibility for all.