Phylicia Rashad Directs ‘Four Little Girls’ At Kennedy Center

Phylicia Rashad is best known for playing Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show but the actress is starting to make a name for herself as a director.

Rashad directed a reading of the play “Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963” at the Kennedy Center on Sunday.

The reading marked the 50th anniversary of the bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four girls. The bombing, which was planned by a white supremacist group, helped spur the civil rights movement.

Rashad said that she wanted the reading to show the “sanctity of joy, human existence and the value of all life.”

Rashad is best known for her role on The Cosby Show but she’s also had plenty of success in the Broadway world. Rashad made Tony Award history in 2004 when she became the first black actress to win an award for a leading role. The actress won for her portrayal of Lena Younger in “Raisin In The Sun.”

Rashad said at the time: “Often I’ve wondered what does it take for this to happen. And now I know. It takes effort and grace, tremendous self-effort and amazing grace.”

This Sunday’s rendition of “Four Little Girls” wasn’t Rashad’s first directorial outing. The NY Times reports that Rashad made her directorial debut on a Seattle stage production of “Gem of the Ocean” in 2007 and also directed a version of “A Raisin In The Sun” last year.

Of course, Phylicia isn’t the only talent in the family. The actress’s daughter Condola recently won a part starring opposite Orlando Bloom in a new rendition of “Romeo And Juliet.”

The 26-year-old actress said: “Shakespeare was on my dream list… When you do Shakespeare, you come out a better actor.”