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HartLife NFP welcomes new Managing Director Eleanor Hyde

Loyal Policies,

We are incredibly excited to announce a brand new member of the HartLife NFP team- Managing Director Eleanor Hyde!

As HartLife founder and creator Clayton Faits steps back to continue his work in Law School, we are thrilled to have Eleanor joining Executive Producer Jeffrey Gardner in leading the HartLife NFP team.  She brings an incredible energy and fantastic new ideas to the company- we’re all so excited to have her on board.

Eleanor is a nonprofit professional, game designer,  and storyteller, who has worked with Rabbit Hole, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, New Leaf Theatre, Emerald City Theatre, and Firefly Partners, a nonprofit digital strategy agency, among others.  She holds an MFA in Arts Leadership and Administration from DePaul University, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.

Join us in welcoming her, and as always

We’ll see you in the tunnels,

HartLife NFP

HartLife NFP’s Statement on the 2016 Election

Dear Friends,

We’d like to take a moment to speak to all of you as People, not Policies. We, like many of you, have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks grieving the results of the 2016 election, fearing what this means for the future, and figuring out what to do next.

Our Fair City is set in a world ravaged by climate change.  We are beginning to see the very real effects of a changing climate on our world, and the new President-Elect seems very unlikely to take action to curtail its advance. We are in danger of a worst-case climate change scenario- one that our grandchildren, children, or even we ourselves may not survive. HartLife NFP believes that action on climate change, whether our President-Elect believes in it or not, is vital, and we will continue to advocate and educate about it.

Our Fair City is made by artists who are queer, straight, trans, cis, monogamous, non-monogamous, neurodivergent, neurotypical, male, female, non-binary, people of color, and more. We strongly believe in creating a respectful work space where all of us get to be our best selves; a place where we get to be the people we want to be, and where we remain open to learning about the experiences of others at all times. We try to have this attitude represented in our work, and to acknowledge our mistakes and do better when we fail.

We know that our fans are as varied as we are, and we want you to know that you are not alone. You are not forgotten. If the Company in Our Fair City is working properly, there isn’t a lot of divergence in its Policies. It is no mistake that we want to tell the stories of those who march to a different drum, those who disagree, and those who rise to become someone they never expected they could be. We want to tell stories that celebrate the vast differences between us all, and highlight the ways that they can be complementary, not in conflict.

In short, be safe. Don’t give up hope. We love you all, and we’re so grateful that you are here with us.

See you in the Tunnels,

HartLife NFP

Loyal Policies,
I’m very sorry to share that we will be delaying the release of Episode 11 of Our Fair City slightly.  Our Fair City Season Seven will resume in two weeks on December 7th- until then, we’ve got something very exciting to share with you.  For those who were not able to attend our Season Seven Launch party, we’ve created a video tour of the Montgomery Moro Museum, accompanied, of course, by Ol’ Silty’s audio tour.

Videographer and Editor: Sam Kohlhaas
Sound Design by DJ Catnip
Written by Makena Levine
Featuring the voices of Sebastian Orr as Ol’ Silty, Mark Soloff as Dr. Montgomery Moro, Ryan Schile as Dr. Herbert West,Environmental Designers: Makena Levine and Melissa Schlesinger
Build Assistance: Ash Ludlow, Megan Salyer-Morris, Phil Hansen and Betsey Palmer
Vitruvian Mole Art by Dann Tincher
Special Thanks to Abby Doud and Tara Schile

Thank you so much for your support and your patience, and as always-

We’ll see you in the tunnels,

Jeffrey Gardner
Executive Producer
HartLife NFP

Thank you for an amazing season launch!

Loyal Policies,

We’d like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who joined us in person last Saturday at our Season Seven Launch Party, everyone who attended the fan-run online launch party, and all of you who have jumped in to Season Seven!

We also want to send out a HUGE thank you to all of our designers and volunteers for the Our Fair City Season Seven Launch Party. It is a monumental task to design, build and run this party, and all of these people do an ENORMOUS amount of work to make sure the party is great.

We would like to particularly call out some of our team from this year. We had amazing and refreshing food designed by Duo Yang and Hillel Wayne (no lie, that balsamic mint watermelon was to die for). Mark Harrison made our originally designed cocktail of “Fermented Brain Juice,” and he did not disappoint. Sonny Tursky, our new Merch Coordinator, took over the merch table, and the time and attention she gave to it really showed. In addition, Jenn Olsen, of the silver tongue, got us an amazing array of raffle items. Between the two of them, our Gift Shoppe was very tempting. Lauren Faits dressed up at the Pageant Queen of the Ants (no seriously, you have to see these photos!) and hosted our live content for those who couldn’t join us in person. Dann Tincher solicited, collected and installed the art for our glorious gallery of Mole People art (no small feat), and Resa Lamont was our ticketing human. Lastly, Lizzie Lovelady took on the thankless task of coordinating our volunteers on the night, and her quick thinking and on the spot help were invaluable in keeping me from loosing my mind.

We also had something completely new this year, an audio tour of the museum which really turned in to a whole extra episode that we produced. Makena Levine (writer and Rocky II) , David, Rheinstrom (writer), DJ Catnip (sound design), Sebastian Orr (Ol Silty) and Mark Soloff (Dr. Moro) all put in an inhuman amount of effort to get this done, and I am super proud of the final product!

Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank our team of incredible core designers. These women are all at the top of their game, and it is both a pleasure and an honor to work with them each year. Bri Johnson and DJ Catnip rocked the lighting and sound (respectively) again this year, and the way that they coordinate never ceases to amaze me. You may not know it, but they are subtly adjusting the party experience all evening, and it’s lovely to watch. Additionally, DJ Catnip spent many a sleepless night editing our Museum Tour. Melissa Schlesinger built us a giant Cryo Chamber that Dr. Moro (played by the illustrious Mark Soloff) could inhabit, and watching audience play in it after the performance makes my heart smile.

One person really blew us all out of the water this year: Makena Levine. She designed, built and organized the installation of countless bits and bobs for the Legendary Doctor Montgomery Moro’s Memorial House and Museum, from photos of the good doctor with the original mole person, to a Pavlovian “Feed the Mold Exhibit”. Makena wrangled a team of talented artists to do this, but the amount of time and talent that she donated herself is staggering. Makena, we are so lucky to have you with us!

An extra special thank you is also owed to all of the companies and individuals who donated items to our raffle and party, including: James Kennedy, Jim McDoniel, Lagunitas, Sideshow Theater Company, Theater Wit, Todd Briscoe, Chicagoland Game, Blue Man Group, 20% Theatre, Bottles and Cans, Chicago Comics, Alley Cat Comics, The Hypocrites, Wildclaw Theater, and The House Theatre! Thank you all so much for your generosity, and for supporting independent audio theatre!

So, here’s me as Launch Party Coordinator signing off until next year. Working with all of these people is a real high point for me, and I can’t wait to do it again!

We’ll see you in the tunnels,

Betsey Palmer
Director of Live Engagements
HartLife NFP

Tickets now on sale for the Our Fair City Season Seven Launch Party!

Buy Tickets here!

Join us Saturday, May 21 at 8pm at the Preston Bradley Center (941 W Lawrence Ave) for the launch of Season Seven of Our Fair City.

Festivities will include an audio tour of the Montgomery Moro Museum and Historical House, as well as a public appearance by the ever-cool man himself, complimentary themed food and VIP refreshments, music by DJ Catnip, lighting by Bri Johnson, environmental design by Melissa Schlessinger, sculpture and interactive design by Makena Levine, and much more!

Appropriate corporate attire or post-apocalyptic costuming is welcome, but not required.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on the day/at the door. Online ticket sales end at 5:00 PM on May 21, 2016. All profits from the party go directly towards supporting the production of Our Fair City.

Season Seven of Our Fair City is Coming!

Loyal Policies: we will be launching Season Seven of Our Fair City on May 21, 2016.  Subscribe here to make sure you don’t miss it, and join us at the Season Seven Launch Party in Chicago, IL to help us kick off the new season!  Stay tuned here, or on facebook, twitter, or tumblr for more details coming soon!

May 21, 2016


Mason Hall

Preston Bradly Center

941 W Lawrence, Chicago IL.

“Tidings of Comfort and (Mandatory) Joy” at iO Chicago with Improvised Star Trek

The spacefaring adventurers of Improvised Star Trek have returned for a LIVE run at iO! For one night only, HartLife NFP will be their opening act. Our policies promise to thrill and chill with an ALL NEW production set in the universe of Our Fair City.

Please join us for “Tidings of Comfort and (Mandatory) Joy.” You’ll delight in 5 traditional holiday songs that have been re-tooled to suit the post-apocalyptic, wintery wastes in which we all live. Ho, ho, ho!!

Tickets are just $14. So please, loyal policies- come fill the room with festive cheer! …Those who do not will be put on a festive list.

Get Tickets here!

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