The cast is set for Spoleto Festival USA’s world premiere play The Song of Rome, written by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson. Co-produced by Spoleto Festival USA, the production will premiere on the opening weekend of this year’s Festival at the historic Dock Street Theatre. 

Rachel Christopher and Hadi Tabbal have been cast in the two-hander. In a dual role, Christopher (Girl on a Train, Billions, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf) will portray Sheree, a modern-day pre-med grad student; and Octavia, the sister of the Roman emperor Augustus. Tabbal (The Brave, Person of Interest, The Blacklist) will play Azem, a recent immigrant; as well as Virgil, the Roman poet. 

Rachel Christopher 

Rachel Christopher recently performed in Ntozake Shange’s for Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf on Broadway and in Aleshea Harris’s What to Send Up When It Goes Down at BAM and Playwrights Horizons. Other NY Theater credits include King Philip at Clubbed Thumb, Bad News: I Was There directed by JoAnne Akalaitis at Skirball Center, Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise at The Play Company. Christopher is a recipient of the Connecticut Critic Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance in An Iliad. Her film and TV credits include Girl on a Train, The Upside, Billions, Instinct, Madame Secretary, and Blindspot. Ms. Christopher is an artistic company member at Trinity Repertory Company and has been involved with new play development at The Public, Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Getty, Red Bull Theater, The Vineyard, New Dramatists, and Yale Rep. She has served as an acting coach for Off-Broadway productions and GRAMMY-winning vocalists and is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice at Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs in Acting and Directing.  Source 

Hadi Tabbal 

Hadi Tabbal is a Lebanese actor and theater director who broke out in 2017 when he joined the cast of the NBC drama The Brave. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Tabbal always had a thriving creative imagination. He nurtured that innate creative side by appearing in plays in his native Beirut, which earned him widespread acclaim in his native country. Tabbal earned a Fulbright scholarship for his work, which allowed him to study acting at the New School for Drama in New York, where he would earn his MFA in acting. After graduating, Tabbal immersed himself in the New York theater world, and in 2013 drew widespread praise for directing the play After, which told the story of an Arab-American family living in New York City. He is credited on television series including Person of Interest and House of Cards, The Blacklist, Elementary, Madam Secretary, and The Brave. Source 

A companion piece to O’Hare’s and Peterson’s acclaimed OBIE-winning play An Iliad, which was presented at last year’s Festival to a wildly enthusiastic response, The Song of Rome delves into the fall of the Roman Republic, drawing parallels to contemporary struggles for power. The play toggles in time between ancient Rome and the 2020s in an exploration of Virgil’s Aeneid.   

The Song of Rome runs from May 25th to June 2nd, 2024 for six performances only. Tickets available here!