BY Stephen Nartey, 1:00pm March 28, 2023,

Condola Rashad, the actress who got the world buzzing about her epic ‘black Juliet’ role

Condola Rashad/Photo credit: Playbill

Staging in the Broadway production of Shakespeare’s most epic play, Romeo and Juliet, movie lovers and critics argued that this would be African American actress, Condola Rashad’s biggest challenge. It was her first above-the-title role, especially in a piece that attracted immense interest.

1977 was the last time Romeo and Juliet was staged on Broadway, starring Paul Ryan Rudd and Pamela Payton-Wright. Before Condola was selected, she met the directors and producers at least four times before being given the role, essence reported.

Her rise to fame began with her role as Juliet in the Broadway production of “Romeo and Juliet.” The play, which premiered in 2013, marked her first leading role on Broadway and drew attention due to her biracial heritage. She believes that the output of the cast caused theatergoers and the producers of the play to turn a blind eye to the subtle theme of race because of the all-black cast representing one family. The structure and style of the play were maintained, except for the modern setting in which the iconic scenes were set in.

Born into a family of performers, Condola’s mother is Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, and her father is former NFL player Ahmad Rashad. Despite this, Condola initially pursued a career in psychology before discovering her love for acting and later attended the California Institute of the Arts. Before “Romeo and Juliet,” Condola had already made a name for herself on Broadway, appearing in productions such as “Ruined” and “Stick Fly.”

However, it was her portrayal of Juliet that truly put her on the map. Her performance received high praise from both audiences and critics, with the New York Times calling her “one of the great Juliets of our time.” Condola believes the production will go a long way to promote diversity, especially the prominence that has been given to putting a biracial cast on one stage. Her job was to give life to classical work.

She aimed to bring a fresh perspective to the character of Juliet, to show that love can transcend race. Following her success in “Romeo and Juliet,” Condola continued to make waves in the entertainment industry. She received Tony nominations for her performances in “The Trip to Bountiful” and “A Doll’s House” Part 2, and has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including “Billions” and “Master of None.”

Beyond her acting career, Condola has also been an outspoken advocate for social justice issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement and women’s rights. She has used her platform to raise awareness and bring attention to these important causes. With her talent, passion, and commitment to creating change, Condola is sure to continue making an impact both on and off the stage for years to come.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 28, 2023

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