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HartLife seeks Showrunner

HartLife NFP seeks SHOWRUNNER for new production

Founded in 2011, HartLife Corporation, NFP is an audio drama production company whose mission is to engage audiences by building rich, immersive worlds with imaginative, thought-provoking audio drama, supported by art that stimulates all five senses. Our flagship production, Our Fair City, has won multiple awards for quality in science-fiction audio drama and has gathered a large following across America and the world.

We are seeking a Show Runner for a new flagship audio drama to begin pre-production in 2016. The content, format, and release schedule of the show will be determined by key members of HartLife’s creative team in conjunction with the new Showrunner.

In conjunction with the Executive Producer, the Showrunner is responsible for the creative direction of the production, including tone, plot, setting, and the release format of the audio drama. The Showrunner will also be responsible for coordinating visual art, live performances, and other media to support the audio drama with substantial support from HartLife staff.

The Show Runner will be developing this new production from concept through completion. The show concept will be developed based on creative submissions from the HartLife community, with support from HartLife’s leadership team.

The time commitment for this position is significant, and so is the degree of creative control the Showrunner will have. In addition to the qualifications listed below, it is critical that the candidate be able to take initiative, motivate others, and set a clear direction for the production and the company.

The Showrunner role is distinct from the role of the Head Writer, Director, and Executive Producer – though it is possible that the Show Runner will fill one of these roles as well.


  • Minimum 2 years writing, producing, or directing in a professional setting
  • Prior experience managing a team, in an amateur or professional setting
  • Open, collaborative approach to making art
  • Prior experience with dramatic audio strongly desired
  • BA, BFA, or MFA in theater or a related art form a plus
  • Prior experience with Chicago’s storefront theater scene a plus
  • Leadership skills, including:
    • motivating teams of people
    • holding people accountable for deliverables and deadlines
    • project management
    • strong creative voice tempered by an ability to collaborate

To  apply, please submit a resume highlighting your artistic and leadership experience, along with a sample of your work (a writing sample, production photos, visual art, anything you’d like us to see) to [email protected]

Our Fair City Returns to the Chicago Fringe 2015

Loyal Policies, we are proud to announce the official times and dates for our newest live show at the 2015 Chicago Fringe Festival!

Tickets available now!


Written by Kat Evans and Ele Matelan

Directed by Jennifer Olson

Featuring Abby Doud, Jared Latore, Stephanie Murphy, and Clint Worthington, with live foley by Ele Matelan, and music by DJ Catnip with music direction by Betsey Palmer.

Come see a brand new live show featuring live foley, music, and more

From the winners of the 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival Unlimited Pass-Holder’s Choice award

With shows on: Thursday 9/3 @ 8:30pm, Saturday 9/5 @ 5:30pm, Sunday 9/6 @ 1pm, Monday  9/7 @ 2:30pm, Thursday 9/10 @ 10pm, Saturday 9/12 @ 10pm, Sunday 9/13 @ 4pm

at CCJP Meeting Hall in Jefferson Park. 5320 W Giddings St, Chicago, IL 60630

Get tickets at

$15 ($10 if you already have a Chicago Fringe button)

What we talk about when we talk about Season One

Loyal Polices: we have some incredibly exciting news.  After a lot of careful discussion, the HartLife creative team has decided to re-write, re-record, and re-design Season One of Our Fair City as a single stand-alone episode.  After months of work, we are absolutely thrilled to share it with you.

We’ve decided to do this for a number of reasons.  Season One represents the very beginning of our learning process.  In the writers’ room, we’ve learned a lot about crafting a compelling story using audio alone.  In the studio, we’ve learned an incredible amount about what makes good sound; our first season was recorded in a closet (literally) with a popscreen made from pantyhose and a coat hanger.  And in our lives, we’ve all grown as people. In some cases, our past work tells a very different story (and reinforces different cultural narratives and norms) than we intended.  As the artistic and administrative team has diversified, in terms of gender, race, sexuality, gender expression, and more, we’ve all had the opportunity to re-examine what we were saying with our first season. We are proud of all the work we’ve done, but we felt the time was right to revisit this early work.

What you will hear is our best foot forward, driven by everything we’ve learned personally and professionally over the last five years.  With Season One Revisited we have been able to communicate the original story of Neal Henderson, Elizabeth Rourke, Alison Dalton, and Nathan Rourke in a way that is truer to our intentions, approachable for new fans of the show, and exciting for our long-time listeners.  If you’ve always wanted an easy ambasador piece to get your friends listening to the show, this is it!

We are incredibly thankful to the actors, writers, visual artists, and others who worked on the original Season One.  It is important to us that their work be recognized, and that fans of the show can see where we started, and what we have grown into.  The original 14 episodes of Season One will remain on our website, freely available to stream or download as always.

Whether this is your first visit to the world of HartLife or you’ve been with us from the start, we hope you enjoy Season One of Our Fair City.  Thank you for your support, loyalty, and enthusiasm, and as always…


We’ll see you in the tunnels,


Jeffrey Gardner, Clayton Faits, and HartLife NFP

Our Fair City Returns to CONvergence in 2015

Loyal Policies,

We are so very pleased to announce that this summer,  Our Fair City will be returning to the CONvergence convention in Minneapolis, MN over the fourth of July weekend!

We will be hosting several panels on audiodrama, post-apocalyptic storytelling, and arts management throughout the weekend, as well as hosting another open call recording session for crowd scenes!  Consult the Programming guide for more details.



We’re also thrilled to be bringing The Archibald FunnyPants Radio Hour to the CONvergence Mainstage this year.  This 45 minute show combines live foley, music, and performance in what can only be described as “A Prairie Home Companion” in the world of “1984.”

Join us at 4 pm on Sunday, July 5th (directly before closing ceremonies)!


We’ll see you in the (Minneapolis) Tunnels,

Vice President Gardner



Merchandise and Sales Position Opening with HartLife NFP

Want to come work with an awesome group of dedicated artists and administrators, spreading the good word about HartLife and supporting the Our Fair City Audiodrama?  We’re looking to add a Merchandise and Sales Lead to our team!

If interested, please send your resume and a few words about why you’d like to work with us to [email protected].

Position Description:

The Merch/Sales Lead will head up all Merch and Sales Related activities, making Our Fair City merchandise available to the public through both a webstore and at merch tables at our live events.

We want someone who can take the strong visual and aural aesthetic of Our Fair City and get it out into the world through t-shirts, comics, prints, or any other way you can imagine!  We’re looking for someone who can craft a line of merchandise that people will love, and want to snap up as soon as possible.

Design/Ordering: Collaborate with Visual Arts Director to design and order merch.

Inventory Tracking: Keep up to date inventory on all merch in stock.

Tracking/Reporting Sales: Keep records of sales made to report  to Finance Officer. Analyze sales to advise on future merch inventory purchases. Set financial goals for company to meet through merch.

Online Sales: Establish (in collaboration with Visual Arts Department and CTO), online store. The Merch/Sales Lead will be responsible for both Webstore Maintenance- keeping products up to date, adding new products, and managing order fulfillment (with assistance from other HartLife staff if necessary).

Working Merch Table (Live Events/Shows): Develop best practices for working Merch Table at Live Events/Shows. The Merch/Sales Lead will be responsible for working the table or recruiting, training, and scheduling volunteers from within the company to work the table at events (Currently, approximately 4-5 events/shows per year, including a runs at the Chicago Fringe Festival, Launch Parties, conventions and other events).

Additional Projects: Help to develop and run additional sales projects, in collaboration with company and Fundraiser.



  • Strong sense of aesthetics and design skills
  • Talent to create a desirable and exciting merchandise line
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Experience working with Inventory and Sales desired.
  • Experience with online stores and inventory management strongly desired.
  • Technology Qualifications:
    • Intermediate/Advanced Google Docs (especially spreadsheets)
    • Intermediate/Advanced Google Calendar
    • Experience with Square/PayPal
    • Web metrics/Google Analytics

HartLife NFP Returns to the Chicago Fringe Festival!

Loyal Policies,

The Directors are very excited to announce that HartLife NFP will be returning to the Chicago Fringe Festival this year, presenting an all-new live episode of set in the world of Our Fair City!

We are also excited to officially announce that this new piece will be co-written by none other than Our Fair City’s Kat Evans and Ele Matelan, and directed by HartLife and Fringe regular, Jennifer Olson!

We hope you’ll join us in September for another great year at the Fringe Festival: stay tuned for more details.

Photo by Jenna Braunstein Photography


See you in the tunnels,


Vice President Gardner

HartLife NFP is seeking a Director for our 2015 Chicago Fringe Festival live production

HartLife NFP is seeking a director to lead the production team for a brand-new live show set in the world of Our Fair City, to be performed at the 2015 Chicago Fringe Festival. This show will have a 7-show run between September 3rd and 13th.

The show will be staged as a live audiodrama, though we welcome creative or unique interpretations of the medium.

As a part of the collaborative team, the director will work with our writing team to develop the show between April and July. Rehearsals will begin in August. There is a small stipend attached to this position.

To be considered, please submit a resume to HartLife NFP Executive Producer Jeffrey Gardner at [email protected] by 3/25/2015. Interviews will be conducted by phone or in person in the weeks following.

Photo by Jenna Braunstein Photography, from the 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival

Our Fair City will not be attending ChiFi 2015

Loyal Policies,

We regret to inform you that HartLife NFP will not be able to attend the ChiFi 2015 convention this weekend as previously hoped.

We sincerely apologize to fans who were looking forward to seeing us there.  We will have more information soon regarding opportunities to see the artists behind Our Fair City live and in person (who we can assure you are alive and well and were NOT deliberately infected with a new strain of rat flu.  We promise).

Thank you for your understanding, and as always,

We’ll see you in the tunnels,

Jeffrey Gardner

Executive Producer, HartLife NFP

Our Fair City joins Improvised Star Trek on stage at Chicago’s iO theater!

Loyal Policies:

On Sunday, February 22nd the Our Fair City team will be joining Improvised Star Trek on stage at the iO theater!

As the opening act for their fantastic, completely improvised Star Trek episodes, HartLife NFP presents The Evening of Exclusion – a live performance in the style of old-time radio. Thrill as our post-apocalyptic heroes mount a desperate last stand against starvation, monstrous marauders, and the Patriarchy!  This one-night-only performance is chock full of song, satire, and subversion.

Tickets are $12, show starts at 8:30pm in the Chris Farley Cabaret at iO theater: 1501 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago, IL 60642.

Tickets for the show are available here!

Our Fair City: The Evening of Exclusion will feature:

Abby Doud as Beatrice
Kat Evans as Narrator / Outsider Leader
Dave Stecco as Papa Hart
David Rheinstrom as Uncle Bill / Moleperson
Jeffrey Gardner on Mandolin/Vocals
and Stephen Poon on Guitar

Ryan Bond: Production Manager
Betsey Palmer: Musical Director
Stephanie Spence: Writer
Mark Soloff: Director

Season Six is Here!

Loyal Policies,

We’re so excited to finally get to share Season Six of Our Fair City with you all!  Season Six will be another 20 episode season, released every other week on Wednesdays here on the website, on our podcast feed and through iTunes.  Episode 2 will be coming February 4th, 2015.

The Season Six launch party was a smashing success: Policies gathered, danced, posed with a giant ant, and toasted to the continued future of the company (and the podcast).

The Lightning Riggers are not afraid of the AntPeople

We’ve got so many people to thank for their work on the Launch Party- Melissa Schlesinger for her set and environmental design, Bri Johnson for her lighting design, Makena Levine for her creation of the massive ant sculpture/puppet and additional shadow-puppet designs, DJ Catnip for providing both environmental sound design and the best music a policy could desire, our performers Ele Matelan and Samuel Kohlhass, our violence choreographer Justin Fill, our volunteer coordinator Julie Schaeffer, our cooks David Rheinstrom and Duo Yang, our cocktail designer Mark Harrison, our photographers Jenna Braunstein and Mike Borden, our Board Events Chair Jennifer Olson, our community manager Lauren Faits and marketing director Ryan Bond, our visual art team Dann Tincher and Ryan Simmons, the HUGE number of volunteers from our community that worked the bar, sold merch, or worked the door, and especially the party management team:   Cat Cefalu, Madelaine Schmitt, and Betsey Palmer.

We’d also like to thank all of the buisnesses and individuals that donated to our raffle, spread the word about the event, or supported the party in other ways, including: Dusty Groove, Chimera’s Comics, Blue Box Cafe, Trader Joe’s, the Blue Man Group, Blackhearts Hair House, Lagunitas Brewing, the 3d Printer Experience, Chicago Comics, Chicago Loot Drop, Geek Spotting Podcast, Universal Geek Podcast, The Nerdologues, VStheUniverse, Alcohollywood Podcast, Blastropodcast, The NerdOutcast Podcast, The Den Theater, Megan salyer Morris, Phil Hansen, Aidan McCormick, Steph Charaska, Samuel Kohlhaas, Justin Fill, Cold Basement Dramatics, Haven Theatre Co., The Plagiarists, Toxic Bag Productions, Space Happens, the Cast and Crew of Dear Stone Theater Company’s “Art,” Collaboraction, and Geek Bar Chicago!

Thank you all again so much—and enjoy the sixth season of Our Fair City!

See you in the tunnels,

Vice President Gardner