Current Shows


Squonk Opera’s Rodeo Smackdown is a multimedia music spectacle drawn from the myth of the Minotaur and the maze set in the world of cowboys, oilmen and rodeo queens.

Feats of daring, discombobulation, Taurean terror, and bovine bullying…an utter contempt for danger and its consequences…

And pretty flowers and butterflies and stuff, too.

Created in 2004

Visit our Store to purchase or download a CD of the music from this production.


Photos by Eleanor Bentall



“earthily comic, implausibly beautiful” - Pittsburgh City Paper

“The funniest piece the group has staged… since Bigsmorgasbordwunderwerk broke all of the rules on Broadway” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“carnival sets, bizarre costumes and psychedelic movies to make your head spin… myth and politics, New Age and Laurie Anderson, opera and metal… those crackpot modernists and cartooning Michelangelos – Squonk Opera!” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The Artistic Directors
Steve O’Hearn & Jackie Dempsey 

The Band

Christina Acosta

Piano & Accordion
Jackie Dempsey

Acoustic & Electronic Percussion
Kevin Kornicki

Flute, Sax, Wind Synth, Manybell Trumpet
Steve O’Hearn

Upright & Fretless Bass
Nathan Wilson

The Team

Jackie Dempsey

Design & Staging
Steve O’Hearn

Concept Development
Steve O’Hearn, Jackie Dempsey & Rick Kemp

Lighting Design
Bob Steineck

Stage Direction
Rick Kemp

Additional Music & Assistant Musical Direction
Kevin Kornicki

Christina Acosta with Jackie Dempsey

Video Design
Dan McKosky, Caroline Savage, John Allen Gibel, Chas Marsh

Production Management
Joel Mason

Choreography & Stage Management
Adelka Polak

Sound Engineering
Denny Strauser

Jennifer Bailey

Graphic Design
David Wallace

Additional Performers
Joel Mason, Adelka Polak & Karen Baum

Set & Prop Artists
Matt Jackson, Barney McKenna, Kristen Merlino, Joyce Mishaan, Nicolette Montgomery, David Ogle, Matt Russell, Michael Schutte, Mary Vereshehenko

Excerpts from The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break from Steven Sherrill were used by permission of the author.

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.

Touring History

Hamilton College … Clinton, NY

Charity-Randall Theater … Pittsburgh, PA

Byham Theater … Pittsburgh, PA

Squonk Opera 315 Castlegate Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
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