When the Stars Tremble In Rio Puerco
PLAY BASED ON NASARIO GARCIA'S WORK KICKS OFF SIEMBRA, LATINO FESTIVAL, AT THE NATIONAL HISPANIC CULTURAL CENTER
When the Stars Trembled in Río Puerco, an oral history play which premiered earlier this year to sold-out audiences in Santa Fe, will kick off the National Hispanic Cultural Center's first-ever Latino Theatre Festival, Siembra, in September 2014.
From September 2014 through May 2015 in partnership with ten New Mexico theatre companies,The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) will stage a wide variety of works by acclaimed Latino and Latina playwrights.
Santa Fe-based Teatro Paraguas begins the festival with its presentation of When the Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco. Presented in English, this oral history play is based on stories of viejitos of the Río Puerco valley, collected and edited by celebrated New Mexico folk historian, Nasario García, adapted and directed by Santa Fe playwright Shebana Coelho. Ranching families live out scenes of land, loss, and community spanning the 1910s through the 1950s in four now ghost towns near Cuba, NM: a boy flees raiding parties, influenza decimates a family; a viejita recounts somber and funny rituals with saints/santos; another sings ballads about tragedies; together they recreate losing livelihoods and cattle to land regulations and narrate ghost stories about brujería and cosas raras, witches and strange sights. As the characters say, “aunque nosotros olvidemos, el pasado recuerda.” Even if we forget, the past remembers.
The play runs for four performances at the NHCC's Albuquerque Journal Theatre on September 25, 26, 27 and 28 (7:30 pm-Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 2 pm-Sunday). Tickets are $18 with $3 discount for students & seniors. Each performance will be followed by a short Share Your Recuerdos open mic: bring a memento from yesterday or many yesterday's ago and share an anecdote (3-4 min each).
A special video presentation and Q&A session, The Real Río Puerco, will take place on Saturday, Sept 27 at 2 pm, also at NHCC's Journal Theatre. It invites audiences to go behind the scenes of the stage play and see documentary footage (filmed by director Shebana Coelho) of the real Río Puerco valley and hear stories by folklorist Nasario Garcia about the ranching families and viejitos who made it their home
The cast includes Rudy "Froggy' Fernández, Anna María Gonzales, Amador Gonzales, María Cristina López, Argos MacCallum, Oscar Rodríguez and JoJo Sena de Tarnoff. It is co-presented with Recuerdos Vivos New Mexico, a new multimedia oral history project and based on the book, Recuerdos de Los Viejitos, now out of print, published in 1987 by the University of New Mexico Press in cooperation with the Historical Society of New Mexico.
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.
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