Based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, Squonk Opera’s Inferno is set in the Appalachian coal town of Centralia, PA, where a mine fire simmers underground to this day. It is a town where trees, still standing, turn to ash. Pets disappear. A place that would melt your shoes where you stand.
Squonk Opera’s Inferno combines revolutionary projection puppets with the aural beauty and visual wit that has come to define a Squonk Opera show. The cast of seven musicians and actor/puppeteers propels the show into the shadowy world of memories that the industrial revolution left behind.
Created in 2001.
Visit our Store to purchase or download a CD of the music from this production.
“Old as Dante, New as MTV.” - American Theatre
“the funny, smart performance band of your brightly fevered dreams” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“dazzling, often enigmatic and playful images and the weird but haunting music that has long been [Squonk’s] trademark” - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
“…INVENTIVE, LAYERED FUN. IT’S A SURREAL DREAMSCAPE, ALTERNATELY SWEET, SILLY, SATIRIC, PORTENTOUS…AND COOL. AN ENTERTAINING CROSS BETWEEN A KENNYWOOD OUTING, AN ECCENTRIC OPERA AND AN INTERACTIVE VIDEO INSTALLATION, IT’S A 70-MINUTE VISUAL AND MUSICAL GEEKATHON THAT SCURRIES BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN MANY LEVELS.” - PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
Palo Alto, CA
Prince Music Theater
George Mason University
Black Sheep Puppet Festival
Ferris State University
Big Rapids, MI
Scranton Cultural Center
Photos by Archie Carpenter and Seth Jackson
THE ARTISTIC DIRECTORS
Steve O’Hearn & Jackie Dempsey
Piano & Accordion
Upright & Electric Bass
Acoustic & Electronic Percussion
Flute, Sax, Wind Synth, Manybell Trumpet
Design & Staging
Steve O’Hearn, Jackie Dempsey, Rick Kemp, Juanita Rockwell, Chas Marsh,
Assistant Musical Direction
Jody Abbott with Jackie Dempsey
Chas Marsh with Steve O’Hearn
Production Management & Mr. Coal Mine
Susan O’Neill & Maura Morgan
Set & Prop Artists
Lisa Hatcher, Matt Jackson
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.