Condola Rashad‘s luminous eyes tell a story of their own, but it is her presence on stage, her well-crafted delivery and passion that tell the complete story. Yes, performing is in her blood. As the daughter of “Cosby Show” actress Phylicia Rashad and football player and sports caster Ahmad Rashad, Condola has been surrounded by hard-working visionaries most of her life. But it was her own intimate moments backstage that catapulted her desire to be in front of the curtains, not behind them.
The 26-year-old New York native was nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actress for her role in the Broadway play “Stick Fly.” She played Queen Latifah’s daughter in the television remake of “Steel Magnolias” in 2012 and starred opposite Cicely Tyson this year in “Trip to the Bountiful.” She is currently starring opposite Orlando Bloom as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet.” We chatted with Rashad between shows about her romance with performing and what she has planned next for her burgeoning career.
You come from a long line of brilliant performers. What is your earliest memory of realizing that acting was your calling?
Well, my mother was in a play called “Blues For an Alabama Sky”, and I remember in that one in particular, I was in rehearsal with her a lot. I was backstage and I remember that being the turning point of when I realized that this is what I really wanted to do.
During the play, there was a part when the lights would come all the way down and they played this really beautiful music to serve as a transition, and then the lights would slowly come up again. While the lights were out, I would crawl on my hands and knees onto the stage and look at the audience. I thought it was really cool that I was on stage and no one knew. The director Kenny Leon (“Steel Magnolias”) knew that I did this, and instead of getting mad, he asked someone to get me black clothes so I wouldn’t be seen (laughs). I loved that play and hope to bring it back to the stage some day.
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Published: 11/20/2013 – 12:20