April 11 and 12

When The Stars Trembled in Río Puerco

A play by Shebana Coehlo




Ticket Info

Purchase Tickets Online

General Admission: $15

Seniors and Students.: $12

Event Description

Thanks to the community's support of a crowd-funding campaign, Teatro Paraguas and Recuerdos Vivos New Mexico are pleased to present a full stage production of the oral history play When The Stars Trembled in Río Puerco at Teatro Paraguas in April 2014.

The play, presented in English, is a stage adaptation of Recuerdos de Los Viejitos, Tales of the Rio Puerco Valley, collected and edited by renowned oral historian Nasario García. It makes vivid stories of land and community in four now ghost towns south of Cuba, New Mexico from the 1910s through 1950s.

Written and directed by Shebana Coelho, an award-winning writer and filmmaker, it is co-presented with Teatro Paraguas, which celebrates the richness and diversity of Hispanic heritage.

When the Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco runs for six performances: April 4, 5, 6 and April 11, 12, 13 (Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 4:00 pm) The Sunday performances are preceded by a "Share Your Recuerdos" open mic - community members are invited to bring a memento from yesterday or many yesterday's ago and share an anecdote (3-4 min each) The play will also be performed at Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center in September during Hispanic Heritage Month.

The cast includes Rudy "Froggy' Fernández, Anna María Gonzales, Amador Gonzales, María Cristina López, Argos MacCallum, Oscar Rodríguez and JoJo Sena de Tarnoff. The play is the first presentation of Recuerdos Vivos New Mexico/Living Memories, a new multimedia oral history project. The book, Recuerdos de Los Viejitos, now out of print, was published in 1987 by the University of New Mexico Press in cooperation with the Historical Society of New Mexico. 

The play dramatizes recuerdos from the book including vignettes about witnessing raiding parties, influenza carrying a whole family away, somber and funny rituals with saints/santos, traumas about land regulation, ballads about tragedies, and ghost stories about brujería and cosas raras, witches and strange sights.

A native New Mexican, Nasario García was born in Bernalillo, but grew up in Ojo del Padre (Guadalupe), New Mexico in the Río Puerco valley southeast of Chaco Canyon. Considered a leading folklorist in New Mexico, he has published over 26 books in Spanish and English, 10 of which relate to folklore and oral history. Dr. García has worked tirelessly for over thirty years to preserve the Hispanic culture and language of northern New Mexico.