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From Bollywood to Mongolia to the Rio Puerco

SANTA FE, N.M. — One of the continually delightful things about Santa Fe is learning about the many creative, often quirky, things that residents are or have been involved with.

For instance, if you go see the current offering at Teatro Paraguas, “When the Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco” (featured in today’s print edition of Journal North), you might notice that Shebana Coelho is the director as well as the person who adapted it from a collection of oral histories.

But this isn’t her first venture of bringing people’s voices to the performing arts or broadcast media. Her bio shows the breadth of her curiosity and interests.

The India-born writer/documentarian/poet had a Fullbright fellowship in 2007-08, almost two years that she spent in Mongolia recording everyday moments with nomadic families, a project that she has developed into “Stories from the Steppes” and an “Outer Voices” radio program, “On the Move in Mongolia.”

She produced and directed “Desi,” a Public Broadcasting documentary on the South Asian community in New York, and a radio project, “Bollywood Goes Borscht,” on Russian emigrés feeling nostalgia for Indian films. She’s had fellowships, grants, artist’s residencies and more.

If that’s not enough, she also has finished a screenplay on Diné storyteller Sunny Dooley and has a one-act play, “Undo,” that will be produced this month at The Players Club in New York City.

She also conducts workshops in Santa Fe helping people learn how to write their own stories. Just one of the many Santa Feans with multiple projects to make a living.