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Mid-season break for Season Four

ATTN: all policies

RE: Broadcasts of the Historical Record

As you may have noticed, this week marks the beginning of our Season Four Mid-season break: a much needed time for the Managers to clear their throats, the MolePeople to buff their claws, and for the Actuaries to…do whatever it is they do in their eldritch lair.

While we’re working on the next half of the season, we invite you to listen to HartLife NFP’s submission to the 75th anniversary War of the Worlds contest, which won 2nd place this year at CONvergence in Minneapolis.

It’s also a really exciting piece as it marks our first collaboration with  sound designer outside of the company: Eric Mooney!  Check out his stuff—he’s a really stellar designer, and we had a really great time working with him.

Your regularly scheduled installments of the Historical Records of HartLife will return August 21st- in the weeks in between, keep an eye out here for music, blooper reels, and more every Wednesday!

See you in the tunnels,

Vice President Gardner

“Silence: A Fable” is a finalist for this year’s Parsec Awards!


HartLife is honored and delighted to announce that “Silence: A Fable” has been nominated for a Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Story in the small cast / short form category! This piece is a dramatization of the Edgar Allen Poe story of the same title, and was released during the Season 3 act break.

The Parsec Awards were founded in 2006 to celebrate speculative fiction podcasting. Finalists are selected by a panel of judges from a list of dozens of fan-nominated submissions. Check out the other worthy finalists at the Parsec Awards website!

Thank you for your continued support and listenership. We’ll see you in the Tunnels.

Vice President Faits

Back from CONvergence 2013

We’ve made it home from CONvergence 2013–we had a wonderful time, and were so happy to meet so many awesome new people!  There will be a longer post soon with pictures, video, and more—but until then, welcome to our new friends, and thank you for joining us for a wonderful weekend!

Clayton and Jeffrey with current and past Mark Time and Ogle Award Winners at CONvergence 2013


Paging Dr. Herbert West…

Through the world of Our Fair City we offer you a glimpse of a dark and troubled future. While genetically-engineered molepeople, airborne lightning collection rigs, and coffee brewed from algae may seem like flights of fancy, every so often one of us here at HartLife stumbles across an article that makes us realize that the Future is closer than we think. This one was so bizarre, we had to share it with our loyal Policies.

Taking a page straight out of Herbert West’s medical handbook, researchers have laid out a plan to perform the first human head anastomosis – in lay terms, a human head transplant.

Transplants of animal heads have been carried out in the past, but with a severed spinal cord the head had no control over the donated body. Researchers in Turin now believe that they can chemically regenerate a spinal cord severed under controlled circumstances in an operating theater. In the near future, we might actually see a functional body transplant recipient.

This raises a host of ethical questions and philosophical quandaries, but it is as exciting as it is unsettling.

Read more at (warning: medical jargon and graphic descriptions of surgical procedures) or check out the academic paper in the Surgical Neurology International journal.

I guess there’s hope for Elizabeth Rourke after all…


See you in the Tunnels,

Vice President Faits

2012 Mark Time Awards announced!


We are humbled, grateful, and very excited to announce that Season Three of Our Fair City has been recognized with the 2012 Silver Mark Time award!  This international award recognizes excellence in Science Fiction audiodrama, and is presented every year at the Minneapolis CONvergence convention.

We’re even more humbled by the other stellar companies who have been recognized this year by the Mark Time and Ogle awards–if you’re looking for more audiodrama to check out, definitely give them a listen!  They include Audio Epics, The Truth, and  Audio Comics Company!


Thank you one and all again for your incredible support!

See you in the Tunnels,

Vice President Gardner

HartLife NFP is looking for a Board Treasurer

Want to join the HartLife Board of Directors?

HartLife NFP, the producers of “Our Fair City” are looking for a new Board Treasurer.  This is a volunteer position, and would join our current Board of Directors in guiding the company in administrative and business matters.

We’re looking for a highly organized individual with accounting and budget-planning experience and an enthusiasm for both performing arts and genre work.You’ll be joining a small, tightly-knit group of artists, technicians, and administrators with a proven history of top-notch productions and a great community that has been steadily growing (both in size and professionalism) over the last few years.  We’re incorporated as a non-profit in the state of IL, and hope to receive our 501(c)3 status soon.

Please send a letter of interest to [email protected] no later than 6/17/2013.

Performing at CONvergence 2013

Loyal Policies,

As you may have heard, HartLife will be bringing it’s Corporate-Compliant live show “The Archibald Funnypants Radio Hour” to CONvergence 2013!  Best described as a “Post-apocalyptic Johnny Carson show” (or “Garrison Keeler sells out to the Dystopian Overlords”), the show combines short scenes, music, advertisments, and of course, everyone’s favorite host: Archibald Funnypants!

We’ll be performing at 3 pm on Saturday, July 6th on the Harmonic CONvergence stage.  If you’re going to be at the convention (or in Minneapolis), come see the show!

Dann Tincher, HartLife NFP’s Visual Art Director, put together this stunning PSA.  Listen, Watch, and Remember.



See you in the tunnels,


Vice President Gardner

Hearing it Live

As we look forward to releasing the second episode of Season Four (which will be out 5/22—the Wednesday after the launch party is traditionally a moleperson day of rest), I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures Sebastian Orr took at the launch party.

Head Writer Clayton Faits listening to the premiere of his episode “Davenport Rises.”

Producing art that is primarily released on the internet is a very strange thing for a lot of the performing artists involved in Our Fair City.  We’re used to hearing (and seeing) the reactions of our audience, both good and bad—and shouting into the void of the internet can be profoundly alienating at times.

That’s part of why the launch parties are so important to me—and why I make sure to get up on a ladder to look out over our crowds at least once during the party.  It’s a really precious thing, to be able to interact with and, at a fundamental level, just see people enjoying (or not enjoying) the work.  It’s just so damn nice to have that direct, human feedback, whether good or bad.

So- enjoy the season, Listen, Remember, and as always-

See you in the tunnels,

VP Gardner


The Season has Launched!

Policies and Policies,

It’s been a great year for Our Fair City.  We’ve been nominated for several awards (and won a few as well), appeared at conventions, performed live, found new ways to deliver episodes, made plans, found new artists, met new actors, forged deeper connections with both the international audio drama community and the Chicago theatre community, applied for (and received) grants, and thrown some damn fine parties…which is all to say, a huge number of people have put an incredible amount of work into this project, and there is no possible way we could thank them all adequately.

But we’d like to try.

Head Writer Clayton Faits and Director Jeffrey Gardner

First off: to the actors, artists, writers, sound designers, and everyone who has touched season four already (or will in the future)- this is, without a doubt, our slickest, cleanest, and best season yet.  We’re so thankful for all of your efforts-this season especially proved that many hands make light work….light, awesome work.

We’d like to thank our dynamic, tenacious, and cupcake-supplying board of directors-the organization, support, and expertise they’ve provided to HartLife NFP has given us a safe launching space for the art, making it all the better.

One of the many unsung heroes of Our Fair City deserves special praise- for his dedicated patience with our boneheaded questions and continual maintenance and monitoring of our website- our Technology Director Michael Tomczak.  Keep your eyes on the site—there are a few really exciting updates coming down the pipeline, we can’t wait for you to check out his work!

We’d also like to single out Betsey Palmer, our stellar Production Manager.   Without here exhaustive (and often, exhausting) work,  Our Fair City could not function at the high level of productivity and speed that it does today.  She schedules, updates, reminds, monitors, reports, corrals, nudges, and advises on every piece of our production, serving not only as a master organizer but as a valuable artistic mind involved in nearly every element of our process and a fierce advocate for our artists.  We’d be (quite literally) lost without her.

The Season Four launch party gets moving!

As you can see from the pictures, the Season Four Launch Party was a smashing success.  It couldn’t have existed without the organizational and creative minds of Betsey Palmer and Steph Charaska, the fabulous lighting design of Brianna Johnson, Davonte Johnson‘s spectacular video design, and the kickin’ tunes of DJ Catnip.  We also want to give a special shout out to Sebastian Orr Photography and Jenna Braunstein Photography- not only did the run a great corporate-themed photobooth, but they got some great images of the party.    We had food and drink donated (and created!) by Mark Harrison (our cocktail master), Sarah B.(jello shot maven), Duo Yang, David Rhienstrom, Julie Schaeffer(chefs and bakers extraordinaire)–an amazing range of post-apocalyptic/corporate themed delights ranging from “Algae Crisps” and “Algae Bar-Treats” to a pair of delicious coffee cocktails and algae-themed jello shots, along with our expert bartender, Mike Tomczak.  We’d also like to a shout out to Ben Aldred and David Rheinstrom for their “motivational, teambuilding” performance of the evening, along with the huge number of staff, board, cast, and friends who volunteered to man the door, work the merch table, run the bar, and everything in-between.    And of course, enormous praise and thank you to Collaboraction, our hosts for the evening.  Not only did they provide a tremendous space-but as a company, they served as an artistic home and growing space for many of Our Fair City’s artists.  They’re a tremendous company, and you should absolutely go check out their upcoming SKETCHBOOK festival.

Finally: we’d like to thank the record-breaking number of people who came out to the party, and everyone who has been listening to the show, whether you’ve been with us from the beginning or are a brand new fan.  Your continued support means so much to us, and the chance to celebrate the project with you was amazing.

So.  Season Four is under way, episodes are going up on the website, and the MolePeople have had a recommended 8 hours of rest.  And tonight?  Tonight, we hold our first writer’s meeting for Season Five.

See you in the tunnels,

Vice Presidents Gardner and Faits

Now Hiring: Stage Manager in Chicago, IL!

Loyal Policies,
Our Fair City is in search of a qualified stage manager for their performance at the 2013 Chicago Fringe Festival!

We’ll be presenting “The Archibald Funnypants Variety Hour,” a late night Johnny Carson-style show set in the world of HartLife (or, if you like: a Corporate-Compliant Garrison Keeler) featuring skits, commercials, musical guests, and everyone’s favorite post-apocalyptic Radio Host: Archibald Funnypants!

Commitment will involve a moderate rehearsal schedule in August of 2013 and three performances in early September.  Performances will be in an un-announced venue in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood.

We’ll be looking especially for someone with great organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.  Cue-calling experience is not mandatory, as this is a show with relatively few external sound or lighting cues.

There is a small honorarium/stipend attached to this position.

If interested, please send your resume to [email protected]

See you in the tunnels,

Vice President Gardner