Catching up with Phylicia Rashad: Directing, acting and returning to television

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From Though she’ll be forever known as the iconic Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show, there’s definitely a whole lot more to actress and director Phylicia Rashad. Most recently, she put the final touches on a new play she’s directing which premieres this month at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Immediate Family. And there’s more.

In addition to directing plays and acting in films such as Good Deeds, Change of Plans and the upcoming Gods Behaving Badly, she will be a regular on the new NBC suspense drama Do No Harm. Rashad also recently performed together for the first time with her daughter Condola Rashad—who was has been making quite a name for herself on Broadway and was nominated this month for a Tony Award for her role in the Broadway play Stickfly.

Below EBONY chats with Rashad during a break in rehearsal about Immediate Family, her daughter Condola and the general state of television today.

EBONY: You’ve been directing plays now for about five years. What lead you into that direction?

RASHAD: Well, honestly I was asked to do it. The first time was an invitation to direct August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and it’s my favorite play of all time. No one had ever written anything like that before. And then the next invitation came just last year to direct a production of Raisin in the Sun in Los Angles. And actually there were three incarnations of it. The first production was at the Ebony Repertory Theatre, then there was a reprise at Ebony Rep and then there was a third one at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. And then came this invitation for Immediate Family. And this invitation was particularly interesting because after working the two previous plays I asked myself what would it be like to work with a new play with an emerging playwright. Hmmmmmm.

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