Posts in Category: Uncategorized

Junkyard Documentary: Photographic Evidence

  • Producer David Rheinstrom is excited by what he hears
  • DJ Catnip takes out a window
  • David vs Window: Round 1
  • DJ Catnip is the clear winner here.
  • Sound Designer Ryan Schile strikes a pose
  • Shattering a moon-roof
  • Dynamic Action Sound Designer Poses!
  • Safety glass is amazing
  • Thank heavens for booms.
  • Tools.
  • More action poses
  • Producer David Rheinstrom is always looking for a piano to lounge on.  In a pinch, a car will do.
  • The team got a little hungry during the day.
  • Before and after shots.

Referenced in our Junkyard Documentary: a few images from our most recent sfx gathering trip.

Casting Call: Season Six of Our Fair City

Loyal Policies:

Our Fair City is excited to announce an open audition for Season Six of Our Fair City!

Due to scheduling conflicts, we will be recasting the role of CLEAR SKIES TIM for Season Six of Our Fair City.

For any interested actors: please submit the following sides (also posted below) in recorded .mp3 format to [email protected], no later than 4/23/2014.  Please also be prepared to provide evening conflicts for the recording period.  The bulk of recording for Season Six will be between September and October of 2014, with retake recording in November and a full-cast reathrough this May.  There is a small honorarium attached to the role.

Please be advised- we are currently only considering Chicago area actors (or actors who would consider traveling to the Chicagoland area for recording).  We recommend listening to episodes “Everything in its Place” and “Rise and Shine” to get a feel for the CLEAR SKIES TIM accent.  We are looking for a vocal performance that is recognizably similar to the previous interpretations of the character.

Thank you–and we look forward to hearing your submissions!  Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with any questions.

Jeffrey Gardner



ALISON: Tim, what’s the matter? You’ve been sighing into your console all day.

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: I’ve just been feelin’ sorta guilty… it’s just that Greyson and Jack are down in Field 22, up to their waists in… waste.

ALISON:  At least they’ve got work.

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: But then there are all the other riggers who’ve haven’t gotten jobs. They’ve been waitin’ in the Reassignment lounge for weeks but with all the surplus power there ain’t no jobs to be had. They’ve been saying that they’re always being supervised, because, you know… they’re out of work!

 ALISON: Oh, Tim. You just can’t see the big picture.


ALISON: No, you can’t. Pour me another cup.

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: Was that supposed to make me feel better?

ALISON: No. Now, how’s my tie?



SFX: CLEAR-SKIES TIM PUSHES a BUTTON. A MOTOR WHIRRS and the doors CREAK SHUT.  A SLOSHING from a metal, liquid-filled tub farther down the gullet.

JACK: Hey Tim!

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: Ah! Jack – don’t scare me.

JACK: Sorry pal – hey leave em open wouldja? I’m going back in in a sec.

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: Uh uh. It’s not safe to leave the door to the Waste Field open.

JACK: It’s not safe to bathe in a tub of chemical disinfectant either, but I’m doin’ it.

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: Did Archie give you the idea to wash off in the Man-Dip?

JACK: Yeah. Where is he anyway?

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: He’s back in the Field. Throwin’ up globs of red stuff.

JACK: Eeeh. Think I’ll get out now. You on guard duty?

CLEAR-SKIES TIM: Yeah. Catch ya later.


In Celebration of Steph Charaska

Loyal policies of HartLife,

We are sad to announce that, after two years of service as our Events Chair, Steph Charaska has decided to step down from HartLife’s Board of Directors.
During her tenure she led the growth of the Our Fair City launch parties into the immersive, highly-produced events that they are today, and hugely increased the Company’s presence at conventions like CONvergence in Minneapolis and the Chicago Fringe Festival. Her help has been invaluable, and though she is taking more time for personal and artistic pursuits outside HartLife, she will continue to be a part of our community and of future Company events.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Steph for her many contributions to HartLife, both past and future, and wish her well!

See you in the tunnels,

Vice Presidents Gardner and Faits


An Urgent Message from the Directors

Urgent Message from the Directors

Hello, Policy.

We have changed our podcast provider, and if you have not been receiving our Fifth Season episodes, the company can provide you with a very easy fix.  We apologize for the inconvenience, and suggest taking the following steps to ensure you continue to receive the Our Fair City podcast:

First, if you are using iTunes, simply unsubscribe in your library, then head to the iTunes Store.  

Podcast fix 01

In the iTunes store, find Our Fair Cityand resubscribe to the Our Fair City podcast.

Podcast fix 02

Second, if you are subscribed through other services like Downcast or DoubleTwist, update your program with the following feed URL:

 Thank you for your loyalty to the corporation; as always, we will see you in the tunnels.


Site Migration

Welcome to Season Five!

Loyal Policies:

We’re here at last!  Season Five has begun—and it is going to be a little different!  You’ll notice a few changes as we move through the season, most importantly:

  1. Episodes will be longer:  We’re trying out a different format for this season—rather than releasing twnety 8-12 minute episodes, Season Five will be ten 15-30 minute episodes.  We decided to try out this new format in part due to some feedback from listeners and because we wanted to try telling a few longer stories within each episode.  We’ll look at how this season goes (and ask you all for feedback) and decide whether we want to do Season Six in a similar format.
  2. Episodes will be more spaced out: Given the longer episode format, we’ll be moving to an every-other Wednesday release schedule.  This will give us the time to really dig into the longer episodes and make sure each has the level of quality and care that you’ve come to expect from the show.  Don’t worry, though–we’ll try to have regular art updates and more stuff through our facebook and twitter!

We’d like to throw out a HUGE thank you to everyone who joined us at the Season Five Launch party—we packed the DFBRL8R performance art gallery, kicked off the season, and had a great time!  Your support helps ensure we can continue to bring Our Fair City to the internet!  If you weren’t able to join us for the party but would like to be part of making OFC possible, we now have a donate link up on the main header of the site–your support keeps the show running.  Thank you.

Photo by Sebastian Orr Photography

We also want to send a huge thank you to Joseph Ravens and the team at DFBRL8R–they run an amazing space, and always have something awesome going on—go check out their website, and see a performance!

Photo by Sebastian Orr Photography

We hope you enjoy Season Five—it has been an incredible amount of fun to make, and we’re so excited to share it with you.  As always I will-

See you in the tunnels,

Vice President Gardner

Season Five will Launch January 18, 2014!


The Directors of the HartLife corporation are thrilled to announce the launching of the Fifth Season of the Historical Records of our glorious company (also known as the audiodrama Our Fair City) on January 18, 2014.  You can listen to the trailer for Season Five here!

The HartLife corporation will be celebrating this monumental event with the Season Five Launch Party, to be held at the DFBRL8R performance art gallery in Chicago at 8pm on January 18th. To learn more, click here!

If you’re not able to join us, but still want to support Our Fair City, you can join in on our silent auction with this online-only auction here!


The End of Season Four and the Beginning of “The Department”

Here we are: the end of another season of Our Fair City.   It is difficult to properly express the gratitude we feel towards everyone who has had a hand in the creation of this work – the stellar cast, production and sound-design team, our dedicated board and staff, and of course, our ever-growing listenership.  We’ve had chances to speak with more and more of you, at conventions, through email, Facebook, and Twitter, and even at late-night diners — it has been an absolute joy to hear your thoughts on the series, what you loved, who you hated, and more.

The season finale (and really, the whole season) has seen us breaking new ground–more underscoring and music from composer Stephen Poon, dynamic manipulations of the soundscape and scene-changes from designer Ryan Schile, and an overall sharpening and focusing of the writing team under Clayton Faits.  We hope you’ve enjoyed listening as we learn more about the craft of audiodrama—we sure have had a lot of fun with it.

Our Fair City will be resuming on January 18th with the launch of Season Five.  In the meantime, we’re excited to announce something brand new from HartLife NFP. Starting Wednesday, October 30th, we’ll be releasing “The Department”- a webcomic created by Ryan Simmons, Dann Tincher, and Jim McDoniel, set in the world of HartLife some time before the events in the audio drama. “The Department” follows the exploits of a young inductee into the department of the “Municipal Union for the Restructuring of District Records” as he learns the ropes with HartLife’s finest Agents.  The webcomic will be updated every Wednesday, just like the show, and will run until we launch Season Five—so keep checking back for new things from the world of HartLife!

It has been an absolute pleasure, folks.  Thank you for listening, and as always…

See you in the tunnels.

Vice President Gardner

A huge thank you for a great Fringe Festival

Loyal Policies,

What a ride!  We’ve wrapped up our run at the 2013 Chicago Fringe Festival, and boy–was it a great time.  By our count, we had roughly ~150 policies, new and old, come see the show–with a fantastically packed house for the final performance!

Mark Soloff as Archibald FunnyPants with the HartLife Players.  Photo by Ryan Bond.

We want to give a big shout out to all the folks who helped spread the word about the live performance- including, but not limited to: Geek Girl Chicago, Chicago Nerd Social Club, OCDweeb, Skill Point Station, Chicago Loot Drop, Chicago Game Lovers, Two Girls a Guy and a Tardis Podcast, ETMF Podcast, Forward Compatible Podcast, David Zoltan, Time Crash, Arc Impulse, Raks Geek, and the Chicago Sci-Fi club!   We’d also really like to thank the Chicago Fringe Festival and the Jefferson Park community for being such welcoming hosts—we had a great time, and can’t wait for next year!


Live Foley artist David Rheinstrom works his magic. Photo by Ryan Bond.

So, once again—thank you so much to everyone who came out to see our show, and a big welcome to all the new Policies listening to the show for the first time!  We’re going to get back to editing/releasing Season Four, workshopping Season Five, and getting ready for our next big event!

Photo by Ryan Bond

See you in the tunnels,

Vice President Gardner


Our Fair City at the 2013 Chicago Fringe Festival

Tickets for our performance of

Our Fair City: the Live Episode! are on sale now!

Tickets are $15 ($5 fringe pass + $10 ticket)

Tickets are available online on Chicago Fringe’s website- just follow the
“Purchase Tickets” link and scroll down to the bottom of the shows.
Remember to get a “Fringe Button” as well- that’s your admission into the festival!

Please be aware, the venue for our show has been moved!

We will now be performing at 5320 W Giddings, Basement. The venue is still called the “Hold the Pickles Stage.”

Our Fair City: the Live Episode! is a late night variety show set in the world of HartLife, featuring live foley, music, advertisements from the Corporation, and more.  Described as “Garrison Keillor in the world of 1984, “ the show follows the foibles of its host Archibald FunnyPants as he runs afoul of the only power left in the world: the HartLife Corporation.
Directed by Jeffrey Gardner
Starring Mark Soloff, Kat Evans, Jared Latore, and Sebastian H. Orr.
Live Foley sound effects by David Rheinstrom
Music performed by David Kitsberg and Betsey palmer, with lyrics by David Rheinstrom
Written by Clayton Faits with Mark Soloff