Swim with extinct creatures at the Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure at COC

Children and their guide encounter a koronosaurus at "Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure." Courtesy image: Lindsay Gambini

The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons is inviting residents to take a dive beneath the waves with some long-extinct marine life at the “Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure” on Oct. 20.

Orchestrated by the creators of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, this show will send the audience back in time to when prehistoric marine life swam Earth’s oceans. The show will blend music, natural sounds and puppetry to bring various creatures to life. The animals will move beyond the stage, moving toward the audience to be touched and played with, said technical director Carlos Castillo.

Six children will be asked to come to the stage, interacting with the “creatures,” said Lindsay Gambini, the performing arts center’s managing director. They will be joined by “Catherine,” a marine biologist who gives them “swimming equipment” in joining her on an expedition into the aquarium, owned by a rich benefactor who collects these animals. The group will encounter Koronosaurus, Plesiosaurus, Paracyclotosaurus and various kinds of prehistoric jellyfish, all of which swam in the oceans millions of years ago.

Originally starting out in their hometown of Sydney, Australia, Dinosaur Zoo takes its show on a global tour. “Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure” will mark their second stop in Santa Clarita, where they previously held their Dinosaur Zoo Live. The show featured more land-based animals, including Titanosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex.

What makes the shows magical is how the animals capture children’s curiosity in the way that dinosaurs do, said Castillo.

“They are left in awe with this show because it’s so magical,” he said.

Though the angler fish is Castillo’s favorite creature in the show, his favorite element of the show is the children.

“The best part is to see the kids come out and see how happy they are,” he said. “You really get the sense with some kids that this is something they’ll remember well into their adult life.”

Ticket prices vary depending on seats, from $25, $30 and $35. The shows will be at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. To buy tickets, go to www3.canyons.edu/Offices/. For more information about the show, go to prehistoricaquarium.com.

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