Current Shows



Pneumatica is an event about air, made of air and powered by air. The Squonkers pump up the volume with live original music that permeates the air, while inflatables pump up and immerse the audience.

Figures and tentacles grow, powered by blowers and vortex fans, and culminate in the 40-foot high Lady Pneumatica who incorporates a wind turbine on her head. She blossoms with sails, breathing steam and raising her inflated arms to the sky. Squonk’s music incorporates the swoops and eddies of air with electronic bagpipes and a vertical accordion that is Lady Pneumatica’s lungs, played like a piano while it rises and falls with her breath. Playing with visual puns, air is used to activate costumes – Squonkers inflate like blowfish and musically activate headtubes with wild guitar and bass riffs.

With the creation of Pneumatica, the Squonkers continue to pursue the most American and democratic of art forms: the public celebration, with boisterous music and surreal image. Squonk taunts and whispers, bellows and caresses, using the very medium of sound: air.


Photos by John Altdorfer (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12,15, 16, 17, 20) and Emily O’Donnell (4, 6, 11, 13, 14, 18, 19)


“a mix of sights and sounds that both entertains and inspires curiosity” – Providence Monthly <a”Squonk Opera rocked it out while harnessing ingenuity and air” – Dramatics Magazine”Incorporating elements of street theater, pop-up art installation and solstice celebration” – Tribune Review

“Visual puns, wacky costumes, electronic bagpipes and general surreal merriment” – City Paper

“An eccentric show that its audience won’t soon forget” – The Roanoke Times

“Fusion of funky inflatables, zebra-striped bagpipes and rocking guitars” – Champaign-Urbana News Gazette

Go to Media for full articles.


The Artistic Directors
Steve O’Hearn & Jackie Dempsey

The Band

Keyboards & Accordion
Jackie Dempsey

Drums & Electronics
Kevin Kornicki

Electronic Bagpipes & Flute
Steve O’Hearn

Electric Guitar
David Wallace

Nathan Wilson

The Team

Jackie Dempsey with the Squonkers

Design & Staging
Steve O’Hearn

Technical Direction
Todd Nonn

Graphic Design &
Contributing Visual Artist

David Wallace

Mechanical Systems
Keny Marshall

Textile Systems
Venise St. Pierre

Scott Conklin

Painting & Sculpting
Chris Letzelter

Britton Mauk

Costume Design
Paula Ries

Movement Consultation
Beth Corning

Daniel Callery

Project Assistant
Heidi Nagle

Sound Design
Kevin Kornicki

Live Sound
George Powell

Assistant Live Sound
Sean Sullivan

Video Editor & Camera Person
Charles Debold

2nd Camera Person
Zac Cageao

Steve and Jackie would like to acknowledge everyone involved in this production
for their creative contributions, especially the Squonk musicians for adding their
own individual flavor to the music, and the designers, builders and technicians who
added detail and richness to the production.


This show can be set up within a 40’ x 40’ x 40’, on paving or grass, and has self-contained technical systems and run crew. All scenery, sound, blowers, inflatables, run crew and musical instruments provided by the touring company. There will also be a front of house roofless sound/interactive station that will be about 30’-50’ in the house, on center.

A 26’ box truck needs to get to the site for set-up and strike, and needs secure offsite parking. If offsite, we would need a storage area or pod of some sort to store our equipment overnight or in the event of rain. Onsite security is also needed. We require 3 double rooms and 2 singles at a local hotel for 10 performers and technical staff. Set up and strike require 4 hours each with a couple of on-site volunteers for a couple of hours.

Power Needs: 12 @ 20 amp 120v, separately breakered circuits, at the site of the set. These will all be loaded to at least 2000w each. If power is not onsite, please provide a whisper-quiet generator that will be located about 25’ upstage of the set. The show must be modified if less power is available. We use biodegradable confetti in the finale that dissolves in moisture.

Touring History

Moraine Valley Community College … Palos Hills, IL
Flint Hills International Children’s Festival … Ordway … St. Paul, MN
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts … Kimmel Center … Philadelphia, PA
Artsplosion! at the Center … CFCC Humanities & Fine Arts Center … Wilmington, NC
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre … Wake Forest, NC
Pawley’s Island Festival of Music and Art … Georgetown, SC
ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts … Urbana, IL
Arts Festival Oklahoma … Oklahoma City, OK
Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at East Tennessee State University … Johnson City, TN
Hancher Auditorium at University of Iowa … Iowa City, IA
Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech … Blacksburg, VA
Arts on the Allegheny … Kittanning, PA
Providence International Arts Festival … Providence, RI
Strawberry Festival … Midland Theatre … Newark, OH
Calgary International Children’s Festival … Calgary, AB Canada
Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival … Fort Worth, TX
Schenley Plaza … Pittsburgh, PA
Harvest Festival … Waynesburg, PA
Braddock Redux Community Day … Braddock, PA
Bottleworks … Johnstown, PA
Wheeling Arts Fest … Wheeling, WV
Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival … Pittsburgh, PA

Kickstarter Contributors

A big Squonk Thank You to the following people who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign and helped to make Pneumatica a reality! And thank you to Nara Garber for the amazing video! We hope you all get a chance to see one of the shows!

Donald Ammon
James & Patty Antenucci
Dan Baselj & Emily Klein
David Bennett
Don Bertschman
Elizabeth Blum
Sierra Brandegee
Mary Brenholts
Zac Cageao
Diana Cherryholmes
Michael Connor
Michael Cuccaro
Bub Darnall
Carolelinda Dickey & Fred Serino
Matthew DiGiacomo
Kirsten & Eric Donny
Elizabeth & Pat Donohoe
Sara Durkacs
Susan Englert
Jeremiah Fitzwinkle
Ralph Flaugher Jr
Carl Goldman
Jean Grace
Gregory G. Granger
Shannon Light Hadley
J Gavin Heck
Adrienne Heinrich
Ron Heller
Charlie Humphrey
Amy Hurst
Donna Isaac
Brian Jose
Andrew Kaiser & Kathryn Kane & Arwen Kozak
Michelle Kirkpatrick & Family
Geeta Kothari
Christopher Letzelter
Amy Kara Lewis
Stephanie Lonsinger
Tom Maguire
Kristie Kovacyk & Lee Mason
David & Heidi Matthews
Anne McDuffie
Helen McDuffie
Keith McDuffie
Bob McGrogan
Susan & Sean McLaughlin
Rachel Sica Meyer
Rachel Myers
Robert O’Hearn & Theresa Provenzo
Josh Obusek & Amy Cush
Norman Papernick
Cynthia L. Pennington
Irina Peris
Tom Petzinger
Gregg Purinton
Babeth Raible
Catherine Raphael
Peter Renfro
Tim Roolf
Edmond Rosen
Caroline Savage
Bill & Mikell Schenck
Camille Schmoeker
Monika Schwartz
Rick Sebak
Janice Serra
Kirk Shadel
Jay Silberblatt & Lori Sisson
Justin Simons
Nancy Simpronio
Sarah Siplak
Batyah Spiker
Bob & Jane Steineck
Brian Strazisar
Ron Thorpe
David E. Vachon
Jane Vranish
Nuiko Wadden
Susan Wallace
Michael Wasco
Mike Weis
Ron Wilson
Steve Dzurilla & Donna Wojnar

Squonk Opera 315 Castlegate Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
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