Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Otis Booth Pavilion View map

900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
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Sacrifice Zone: Los Angeles
An Immersive Installation and Performance

Performances run at 30-minute, timed intervals from 6:30–9 p.m. on the dates below. Attendees should plan to spend 45–60 minutes in the experience. Other NHM exhibits will not be open for viewing during performances. 
Saturday, January 13, 2024
Sunday, January 14, 2024
Friday, January 19, 2024
Saturday, January 20, 2024
Sunday, January 21, 2024
Friday, January 26, 2024
Sunday, January 28, 2024

Access to the installation, without the performance, is available daily to all ticketed NHM visitors from Friday, January 12, through Sunday, January 28, 2024. Plan your visit HERE.

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Monday, December 11.


Los Angeles is home to America’s largest port complex (which is also the biggest source of air pollution in the L.A. basin), hosts the largest active urban oil field in the world (with a third of L.A. residents living within a mile of an oil-drilling site), and houses countless manufacturing facilities that release toxic chemicals into the air and water every day.

Sacrifice Zone: Los Angeles (SZLA) is an immersive and interactive environmental justice experience merging exhibition, performance, and activism created by filmmaker and USC professor Michael Bodie and playwright and USC professor Paula Cizmar. Using multimedia-enriched documentary theatre and film storytelling, SZLA sheds light on the damaging effects of decades of industrial pollution on South Los Angeles communities by transforming the Otis Booth Pavilion at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County into a home along the I-710 Corridor that is besieged by health risks. SZLA’s immersive experience incorporates community interviews, interactive media, audio soundscapes, and production design to show the challenges of families living in these “sacrifice zones”—the places in our city devastated by ongoing environmental pollution.

During seven live performances directed by Fran de Leon with production design by Sibyl Wickersheimer, costume design by Ann Closs-Farley, olfactory design by Elizabeth Ramsey, and interactive design by Luke Quezada, the exhibit will be brought to life. Audiences will bear witness to a family preparing for their matriarch’s birthday. As the story unfolds, attendees have the freedom to explore the household in the order of their choosing, going at their own pace while learning about the issues faced by the communities in these neighborhoods and what we can do to address them.

Sacrifice Zone: Los Angeles actors include Claudia ElmoreXol GonzalezDavid Huynh, Ella LaoLee Martinez, and Alejandra Villanueva. SZLA is a collaboration with many members of the South Los Angeles community including Sylvia Betancourt, Pat Diaz, Hugo Garcia, Eric Kearney, Ashley Lazaro, Teresa Mendoza, Maria Reyes, and Alicia Rivera.

Presented by USC Arts in Action. Organized by Michael Bodie (Cinematic Arts) and Paula Cizmar (Dramatic Arts) with Sibyl Wickersheimer and Fran de Leon (Dramatic Arts), Jill Johnston (Medicine), and Elizabeth Ramsey (Cinematic Arts). Co-sponsored by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the People Not Pozos Campaign of Esperanza Community Housing, the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, the Institute for Theatre and Social Change at the USC School of Dramatic Arts, the Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research Translation at the USC Keck School of Medicine, and Media Arts + Practice at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Event Details

  • Xinyi Wu
  • Dylan Macy
  • Esther Chae
  • Jessica Fu

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