Alyson Mackenzie Stroker
June 16, 1987
Ridgewood, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University (BFA)|
Alyson Mackenzie Stroker (born June 16, 1987) is an American actress and singer.
She is the first actress who uses a wheelchair to appear on the Broadway stage, and to be nominated for and win a Tony Award. Stroker was a finalist on the second season of The Glee Project and later appeared as a guest star on Glee in 2013. She played Anna in Deaf West Theatre's 2015 revival of Spring Awakening, and won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Oklahoma!
Ali Stroker grew up in New Jersey with her parents, Jody Schleicher and Jim Stroker, as well as an older brother, Jake, and a younger sister, Tory. At the age of two, Stroker was in a car accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to walk, she uses a wheelchair. She attended Ridgewood High School, where she was senior class president and starred in school musicals.
Stroker trained with the Summer Musical Theater Conservatory program at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey.
In 2009, Stroker became the first actress who uses a wheelchair to earn a degree from the New York University Tisch Drama Department, with a degree in Fine Arts.
Stroker has had solo performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and New York's Town Hall in addition to concert performances at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Stroker starred in the Paper Mill Playhouse's production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She later reprised her role in this show at Philadelphia Theatre Company, and that performance earned her a Barrymore Award nomination.
In 2011 Stroker made an appearance in the short film I Was a Mermaid and Now I'm a Pop Star. In 2012 she auditioned for The Glee Project and was cast for the 12-episode series. She made it to the final episode and placed second, earning a guest role on Glee, playing Betty Pillsbury, Ms. Pillsbury's niece, in Season 4, Episode 14: "I Do".
In 2014 she had a role in the film Cotton, also known as "Everyday Miracles". In 2014 and 2015 Stroker had a three-episode role playing Wendy in the MTV series Faking It.
In 2015 she made history by becoming the first actress who uses a wheelchair to appear on a Broadway stage. She originated the role of Anna in Deaf West Theatre's 2015 revival of Spring Awakening.
In 2017 Stroker was cast as Tamara in the ABC show Ten Days in the Valley.
In 2018 she played Ado Annie in St. Ann's Warehouse's critically acclaimed revival of Oklahoma! The production transferred to Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre in 2019, earning Stroker a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, making her the first person with a disability to be nominated for and to receive that award.
In 2020 she was in Lifetime's Christmas Ever After, airing on December 6, 2020.
In 2021, she played Detective Allison Mulaney on the police procedural television series Blue Bloods, and played Paulette on the mystery-comedy television series Only Murders in the Building.
Stroker co-chaired an awards luncheon in 2016 for Women Who Care, which supports United Cerebral Palsy of New York City. She is a founding member of Be More Heroic, an anti-bullying campaign which tours the country connecting with thousands of students each year. She has gone to South Africa with ARTS InsideOut where she has held theater classes and workshops for women and children affected by AIDS.
Stroker is bisexual and dated fellow The Glee Project contestant Dani Shay from 2012-2015.
Stroker attended the 2019 Tony Awards with her boyfriend, theater director and actor David Perlow. She and Perlow had reconnected in 2015 and are founding directors of ATTENTIONTheatre.
|2011||I Was a Mermaid and Now I'm a Pop Star||Party Girl||Video short|
|2012||The Glee Project||Herself||12 episodes|
|2013||Glee||Betty Pillsbury||Episode: "I Do"|
|2014–2015||Faking It||Wendy||3 episodes|
|2017||Ten Days in the Valley||Tamara||3 episodes|
|2018||Lethal Weapon||Nina||Episode: "Funny Money"|
|2018||Drunk History||Judith Heumann||Episode: "Civil Rights"|
|2018||Instinct||Ella||Episode: "Secrets and Lies"|
|2019||Charmed||First Auditionee||Episode: "Witch Perfect"|
|2020||BoJack Horseman||(voice)||Episode: "Angela"|
|2020||Helpsters||Basketball Brianna||Episode: "Basketball Brianna/Heart's Fish"|
|2020||The Bold Type||Olivia||Episode: "Leveling Up"|
|2020||Christmas Ever After||Izzi Simmons||Lifetime Holiday Movie|
|2021||Blue Bloods||Det. Allison Mulaney||Episode: "Redemption"|
|2021||Only Murders in the Building||Paulette||Episodes: "Open and Shut", "Fan Fiction"|
|2021||And Just Like That||Chloe||Episode: "Some of my Best Friends"|
|2011||The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee||Olive Ostrovsky||Paper Mill Playhouse||Regional Theatre|
|2015||Spring Awakening||Anna||Wallis Annenberg Center||Regional Theatre – Deaf West Theatre|
|2015–2016||Brooks Atkinson Theatre||Broadway – Deaf West Theatre Transfer|
|2018||The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee||Olive Ostrovsky||Cleveland Play House||Regional Theatre|
|Annie||Star-to-Be||Hollywood Bowl||Regional Theatre|
|Oklahoma!||Ado Annie Carnes||St. Ann's Warehouse||Off-Broadway|
|2019||Circle in the Square Theatre||Broadway|
|2016||Astaire Award||Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show||Spring Awakening||Nominated|
|2019||Tony Award||Best Featured Actress in a Musical||Oklahoma!||Won|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Won|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Performance||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Nominated|
|2020||Grammy Award||Best Musical Theater Album||Nominated|
Stroker, who was president of Ridgewood High School president during her senior year, also starred in several high school productions including as Maria in West Side Story, and Cosette in Les Miz.