Conservancy Series to Bring More Entertainment to the RiversEdge Stage

The Hamilton Parks Conservancy announces the premiere of The Conservancy Series, four programs bringing live entertainment to the RiversEdge stage during the summer of 2016.

This is in addition to the
Free Concerts on Thursday evenings
and  other events organized by the
City’s Resident Services Department.

The series begins 6 p.m. June 26 as the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra and Chorale presents “POPS! Goes the Symphony.”  The orchestra will perform selections from some of America’s most beloved music, from Leonard Bernstein to George Gershwin, including music from the movies “Jaws” and “Indiana Jones.” As a special treat, soloists from the Chorale will perform vignettes from “Oklahoma!” in costume. This event sponsored by MillerCoors.

Everybody in town knows the Klaberheads from their annual appearances at the Hamilton Oktoberfest, but their chops extend far beyond oom-pah, and they will perform 7 p.m. June 30 in a Big Band format. The Franz Klaber Orchestra has been entertaining local audiences for over 80 years, and this third-generation iteration under the direction Erika Klaber promises the same fun and surprises  provided by her father and grandfather. Sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wehr.

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival returns to RiversEdge for its popular Free Shakespeare in the Park Series. This time, they’re bringing the classic tragedy “Macbeth,” a play full of political intrigue, family drama–and ghosts! The command performance will be 6 p.m., August 17. Sponsored by an anonymous Friend of the Parks.

The Conservancy Series season ends September 17 with the return of Signs of Life – The Essence of Pink Floyd, back by popular demand. A Signs of Life show captures the music, mood, emotion and excitement of a Pink Floyd concert. Eight talented musicians and a production team are dedicated to reproducing the vast and spacious Pink Floyd “essence” – arguably one of the most musically accurate Pink Floyd tributes anywhere. Their shows use authentic sound effects, engaging video and dynamic lighting effects to recreate the classic Pink Floyd feel. Showtime will be 8 p.m. Sponsored by Jim & Sue Fitton, Gerry Hammond, and the Courtyard By Mariott. 

For more information on the Conservancy Series, please call 513-785-7055 or visit us at on the internet.



Walking on Mars: Dementia education through a play written by nurses.

Miami Regionals nursing faculty member Ann Bobonick has teamed up with her mentor Patricia Irwin, a nurse therapist and former Miami faculty member, to write a play to explore issues surrounding the growing prevalence of dementia.

“When Everything Looked So Dark” will get its premiere Thursday night in a Miami University Hamilton Theatre production. “The initial concept was Pat’s idea,” Ann said, but she is glad to have been a part of its development.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. April 21, 22 and 23 in the studio theater in 307 Phelps Hall. All three shows are sold out.

“Asking me to help write a play was like asking me if I would walk on Mars with her,” she said. “I had never done anything like that. I don’t consider myself creative.”

She had known Pat for many years—both members of the Sacred Heart Church in Fairfield– and it was upon Pat’s advice that she got into nursing in the first place, “so how could I say ‘no’ to this lady?”

Pat said her first exposure to Alzheimer’s disease came around the time she got married when her Uncle Pete was suffering with it, and since then through her practice she has encountered many other cases with clients struggling with relatives who have the disease.

“There are five million active dementia cases right now in America,” she said, “and in ten years there will be thirteen million because we are living longer.”

She began working on the play five years ago to explore some of these issues. She came up with the idea of exploring a family in crisis, when a young man who is struggling to find direction in his life is suddenly confronted with the loss of his mother and is being pushed into taking care of his grandmother–Grandy–who has dementia.

“Grandy had said to her daughter, ‘Never put me in one of those places,'” Pat said, which is a common stance. “He chooses to keep his mother’s promise to not put Grandy away, so he sleeps at her bedside and learns a lot about who he is.”

Three years ago, she shared the concept with Bridget Ossman, a friend who is a teacher-turned-playwright and who encouraged her to continue working on it. Ossman coincidentally, is the sister of Bekka Eaton Reardon, Associate Professor in theatre at Miami Hamilton.

“Pat had heard me talk about teaching geriatric nursing at Miami,” Ann said, “and how the students and I lost our hearts to the people we served. It was then that she asked me to co-author the play.”

Over the next year, Pat and Ann would meet intermittently to create and develop the scenes. A new character was added, the girlfriend of the caregiver who would bring in her geriatric learning as a nursing student in to support Russell’s caregiver journey.

“When Everything Looks So Dark” comes from a lyric in the Johnny Mercer song “Accentuate the Positive” by Johnny Mercer, “because that’s what Russell learns to do with Grandy,” Pat said.
Directed by Bekka Eaton Reardon, the cast includes Miami Hamilton students Tyler King and Hannah Rastopsoff and Pat Napier, long-time theatre practitioner.

Each performance will be followed with a talk-back and panel discussion that will include a different slate of professional and personal caregivers each night.

“The arts can get deeper than more traditional teaching methods to help people learn,” Ann said. “If this goes further, perhaps it could be used to help train personal or professional caregivers.”

“It was a revelation, a gift to see it coming to life through these actors,” Pat said, “more than we expected.”

“To have them do this is beyond our wildest dreams,” Ann added. “It goes so much deeper when you see it coming through the actors.”