Preview: Peter Schaffer’s ‘Yonadab’ at SMC

Its 1,000 B.C. Yonadab is a cynical man, questioning the existence of God and religion. The wheels of deception are turning in his head. How will he bring down the house of King David?During the month of October, the Santa Monica College Theater Arts Department will perform Peter Shaffer’s most daring and most personal theatrical play, “Yonadab.” “It’s the most grand theatrical spectacle. It’s the most autobiographical play he has written,” says Adrienne Harrop, director of “Yonadab.” Harrop has directed more than 40 plays at SMC, and has taught theater for the past 33 years. She has directed other great Shaffer plays such as “Amadeus,” “Equus,” and “The Royal Hunt of the Sun.” The only play missing from that collection was “Yonadab.” Finally, after 27 years, and thanks to Lorraine Broderick, a mutual acquaintance of Harrop and Schaffer, Harrop acquired the rights to “Yonadab.” “’Yonadab’ has a juxtaposition of modern and ancient that’s just exceptional,” says Harrop. The cast consists of ten SMC Theater Arts students, two of which are international students from Sweden. The role of Yonadab was first popularized by Alan Bates in 1985. In this production, that roll will be portrayed by James Asdell, Harrop’s former student. “I have an exceptional cast that will take this play to the next level,” she said. Because this play deals with serious adult content such as murder, incest, and rape, viewer discretion is advised. The SMC production of “Yonadab” will open Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. with a special preview on Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. Additional matinee and evening performances continue through Oct. 21. The shows are priced at $15 for general admission, and $12 for seniors and students.