The recently opened Broadway play Stick Fly boasts some of the biggest names in the entertainment and theater worlds onstage and behind the scenes. The play, by Lydia R. Diamond, about an upper-middle-class black family during a weekend on Martha’s Vineyard, stars Mekhi Phifer, Dulé Hill and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Grammy Award-winning songstress Alicia Keys not only is one of the show’s producers but also has been leading postshow talks about issues raised in the play.
But the critics have been raving about an unheralded actress and her searing performance. Show business insiders know that this actress, 25-year-old Condola Rashad, has show business royalty in her veins. She’s the daughter of actress Phylicia Rashad and broadcaster and former NFL great Ahmad Rashad. Her aunt is Debbie Allen.
With Stick Fly, many believe that the young Rashad’s moment has arrived. She talked to The Root about her success and lessons learned from her famous family members.
The Root: Congratulations! You’ve been almost universally praised for your performance in Stick Fly and have been heralded as the hot new actress on Broadway this season. What’s it like to be Condola Rashad right now, and how are you handling all the attention?
Condola Rashad: Thank you very much. Life is definitely great right now! I’m having so much fun working on this show, and I’m so glad that people are responding so well. I’m finding it very easy to stay grounded at this time. As long as I just focus on the work, then everything will fall into place.
TR: Your mom is Phylicia Rashad. Your aunt is Debbie Allen. Your dad is Ahmad Rashad. Those are some major names in the entertainment world. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from each of them?