Watch CBS News

Broadway actress Ali Stroker feels her "most powerful self" on stage

Actress Ali Stroker became Broadway's first actor in a wheelchair, and she made history again this week with a Tony Award nomination for her role as Ado Annie in "Oklahoma!"

"This is a dream come true," Stroker said Thursday on "CBS This Morning." "I have wanted to be a professional actress and performer since I was 7 years old. And, you know, Tuesday was just one of these moments when I found out I was nominated where I felt like I had arrived at the dream and I just haven't stopped smiling."

Stroker was injured in a car accident at two years old and said she's been in a wheelchair since. But with an "unbelievable" support system, including her parents, she's been able to pursue her passion.

"Performing for me has been a moment where I felt like I was my most powerful self, and so I became hooked. I just wanted to be on stage," Stroker said. "Growing up in a chair, I was used to people staring and looking at me, and, you know, that was difficult. And then when I got on stage, people were staring and looking at me for the reason that I wanted, and I felt powerful."

Introduced to musical theater at seven years old, she realized her dream.

Now with her "Oklahoma!" role, Stroker said one of her favorite aspects is "all of a sudden we are dealing with disability and sexuality at the same time."

"Growing up, I didn't see that. I never really saw those two things coming together and being addressed. So this touches on so many things that I'm so passionate about," Stroker said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.