Short Plays Performed Near Big Dinosaur Bones

A quartet of plays will pay homage to the Natural History Museum's 100th anniversary.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Sep 13, 2013  |  Updated 5:23 PM PDT
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Short Plays Performed Near Big Dinosaur Bones

Natural History Museum

The Chalk Repertory Theatre will perform four plays in four exhibit halls of the Natural History Museum. Why? To celebrate NHM's big 100th, of course. The plays kick off on Saturday, Sept. 21.

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Somewhere, right now, a theater major is writing a paper using the Shakespearean phrase "all the world's a stage." The student's argument? That plays, and drama, can happen anywhere, and not just a traditional theatrical venue.

That is, of course, correct. Los Angeles is a vibrant capital of plays hitting the streets and performances showing up in odd locations; remember the dance show inside the laundromat? Yeah.

So when we learn that a quartet of short plays, all penned by local writers, are due to show up in the galleries of the Natural History Museum, do we blink an eye? Well, yes, because that's a response we can't control. But not out of judgment: We think this fall series of theatrical goodness, presented within the Exposition Park institution's exhibit halls, will be quite wonderful.

The Chalk Repertory Theatre is on the performing end of the eight-night event, an event that pays tribute the historic venue's centennial.

And, of course, the Natural History Museum is known for mixing it up, culture-wise, within its hallowed, beast-laden diorama'd halls; the museum's First Fridays regularly incorporate DJs, bands, and dancing.

The plays, which open on Saturday, Sept. 21, will cover periods from 1913 to today.

"4 Plays, 4 Exhibit Halls, 4 Time Periods" is the tagline of "Gallery Secrets," the intriguing name for the series.

Tickets are $25 each.

And this brings to mind those tar pit plays that showed up in Hancock Park a couple of years back.

Yep, theater can be anywhere, not just a stage that happens to have rows of seats facing it. An ancient T. Rex skeleton can serve as a stunning backdrop, or a hall full of North American mammals, even.

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