ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The theater production “When the Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco” is based on the book, “Recuerdos de los Viejitos,” by Nasario Garcia, who grew up in the valley southeast of Chaco Canyon.The script was developed by Shebana Coelho, the director of the stage production. Dr. Garcia, whose family left the valley for Albuquerque’s Martineztown when he was a young boy, collected the stories from people who lived in the Rio Puerco Valley from the 1910s to the 1950s.
Those stories are brought to life on stage by re-enacting Indian raids, ghosts, religious rituals, and government agents telling families they had to slaughter many of their cattle or sheep because the land wouldn’t support them. Government regulations coupled with droughts led to an exodus of families from the small villages. Today they are all ghost towns.
The show opens Sept. 25 and lasts through Sept. 28 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.