Condola Rashad Breaks Down Color Barrier As Juliet On Broadway

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condola41One of the most challenging goals as an actor is live theatre. Now add another element to it, that of colorblind casting when it actually makes sense. Truthfully speaking, not all roles are meant to be taken out of their ethnic realms. However, in the case of Romeo and Juliet, director David Leveaux decided to do just that.

Broadway actress, and daughter of Phylicia Rashad,  Condola Rashad, has broken a hard barrier on the great white way and has been cast as Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Playing her Romeo is non-other than actor, Orlando Bloom, who has been dying to get his claws into the meaty role for years. This modern day twist of Romeo and Juliet is sure to get critics and theatre goers out in droves to the box office and could possibly introduce the world of theatre to another group of patrons, African Americans.

While there are a lot of African American Broadway theatre goers, there have not been many productions that involve African Americans that have lasted and appealed to a younger African Americans. Many of the African American shows that come to Broadway tend to have a limited run with little to no sustaining power.

What makes this different is that it is still universal, meaning anyone can relate to its main theme of loving against all odds. The interracial cast brings an element that will teach acceptance. The director, who is a five time Tony Award nominee said that he did not set out to pick the cast with a specific conceptual theme in mind. He said that the idea to touch on racial differences came naturally.

Leveaux knew that Rashad was right for the part when he saw her in “Stick Fly” on Broadway. On working with the actress Leveaux said, “That combination of wit and heart, which is what you need in a Juliet, seemed sort of irresistible to me.”  Romeo and Juliet will preview on Broadway August 29th and will open September 19th. Tickets will go on sale on April 8th.  Rashad was in the recent remake of   “Steel Magnolias” and can be seen in the Broadway revival of “The Trip To Bountiful” with Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, and Cube Gooding Jr.

Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City and a supporter of  One Billion Rising

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