by Deena CampbellÂ | Photography by Ashley Sky WalkerÂ | Styling by Shandi Alexander
Most girls turn 25 on a dance ï¬‚oorÂ with a glass of champagne. Actress CondolaÂ RashadÂ celebrated her milestone on-stage, portraying a sassy maid in Stick Fly, her Broadway debut that has garnered Tony Award buzz. â€œI want to be a part of something thatâ€™s bigger than myself,â€ says Rashad, who also performed in Lynn Nottageâ€™s Pulitzer prizeâ€“winning Ruined in 2009. â€œItâ€™s my responsibility as an artist.â€
Diva DNA: The limelight isnâ€™t new for the Mount Vernon, N.Y., native. Her parents are Cosby ShowÂ alum and Tony winner PhyliciaÂ RashadÂ and football-player-turned-sportscaster Ahmad Rashad.
Afro-American Idol: As a child, CondolaÂ (with African origins, it means â€œMightyâ€) idolized actress Audra McDonald, and by the age of 17 she earned her stripes in Tambourines to Glory, a play helmed by Kenny Leon, who also happens to be her Stick Fly director. Â
Parental Advisory: At 7 years old, Condola was inspired by her motherâ€™s performance in Blues for an Alabama SkyÂ at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. â€œI liked what I saw, but felt I could do it diï¬€erently,â€ says Condola, who landed her ï¬rst acting gig in 2004 in Pearl, an adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Her mother now instructs her to â€œwatch her volumeâ€ while onstage, and to â€œmake sure itâ€™s always up.â€
Above photo: Jumpsuit by YigalÂ AzrouÃ«l; belt byÂ B-LowThe Belt; earrings by Erickson Beamon; heels by Christian Louboutin.