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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

Season Six Launch Party: January 17, 2015

Loyal Policies,

We are incredibly excited to announce that the launch of Season Six of Our Fair City will take place on January 17, 2015!

Season Six will be returning to a 20-episode season format, with episodes ranging from 10-20 minutes in length released every other Wednesday throughout the year.

We will also  be kicking off the season in style at the Flat Iron Arts Building in Chicago, in Collaboraction‘s Room 300, in all the corporately approved grandeur you’ve come to expect from our events.  The address for the space is 1579 N Milwaukee ave, Chicago IL 60642.

Festivities will include: complimentary themed food and VIP refreshments, music by DJ Catnip, a HartLife-themed photobooth, an appearance by Geoship Pilot Captain Cassandra Wilkins, lighting by Bri Johnson, sets and environments design by Melissa Schlesinger, shadow puppetry and sculptural art by Makena Levine, a raffle and silent auction, and much more!

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

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on the day/at the door.  Ticket can be purchased in advance here.  All profits from the party go directly towards supporting the production of Our Fair City.

See you in the tunnels,

Vice President Gardner

HartLife is now an official 501c3 Nonprofit!

Loyal Policies of HartLife,

We are so very excited to announce that, after mountains of paperwork, miles of tape (red and otherwise), and the intense scrutiny of the Internal Revenue Service— HartLife has been officially recognized as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization!

This will mean a number of things for our organization—including expanded capacity to make even more art as new revenue streams become available.

HartLife and its flagship show, “Our Fair City,” have been supported by a large number of INCREDIBLY generous donors over the last three years who have given their hard earned money to our organization with no gain other than the abiding satisfaction of supporting innovative new art in the 21st century.

With this new tax status, HartLife NFP can give back to you! Any donations made to the company will be tax deductible: not only do your donations to HartLife NFP help make great new art, but they also make good financial sense!

We’re so excited to have this recognition and vote of support from the powers that be, and we hope that your continued support will allow us to continue to grow the company and keep producing the audio storytelling that you’ve come to know and love.

If you’re interested in making a tax-deductible donation to support Our Fair City and HartLife, it couldn’t be easier: just click here! You can also set up a recurring donation, helping ensure our long-term stability as a growing institution in the world of audiodrama.

Thank you so much for your continued support, and as always,

We’ll see you in the tunnels,

Jeffrey Gardner
Executive Producer

Thank you for a wonderful Fringe Festival!

We’re home now—unloading foley boxes, running numbers, washing costumes—and wanted to take a quick moment to thank all the wonderful new and returning Policies who came out and saw our show at the 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival!  We had a ball of a time, and can’t wait for next year!

Foley artist Ele Matelan at work. Photo by Jenna Braunstein Photography.

Until then–thank you for your support!


We’ll see you in the tunnels,


Vice President Gardner

HartLife NFP welcomes new board member

Loyal Policies,

The Staff and Board of HartLife NFP are incredibly excited to welcome our newest board member: Jennifer Olson!  Jennifer will be stepping up into the role of Events Chair for the HartLife Board.

Jennifer grew up on the plains of South Dakota chasing frogs and other slimy creatures. Now, she spends her time outside of the Museum of Science and Industry working as an editor and director of theatrical new work in Chicago and fussing with her hydroponic strawberries. When inspiration strikes, she has been known to adapt graphic novels to the stage, including Will Eisner’s “A Contract with God.” She still likes slimy creatures, but has since added board games, comics, tattoos, and craft beer to the list.

Photo by Sebastian Orr photography


We hope you’ll join us in welcoming Jennifer to the HartLife team, and as always–

We’ll see you in the tunnels,


Vice President Gardner

Our Fair City Live at the Chicago Fringe Festival!

Performances on Thursday, 8/28 (8:30 PM), Friday 8/29 (8:30pm), Saturday 8/30 (5:30pm),

Monday 9/1 (7:00 pm),Friday, 9/5 (10:00 pm), Saturday, 9/6 (4:00pm) and Sunday, 9/7 (2:30 pm)

at the “Deep Dish Stage”- 5320 W Giddings, CCJP Meeting Hall in Jefferson Park. 

Tickets are $15 (or $10 with a fringe button).  Remember: everyone needs a Fringe Button to get into the Festival–be sure to get yours!

Get tickets here!


The new live episode is a classic noir tale told through the subversive lens of the world of Our Fair City.  Former homicide detective Jack Winters is brought back into the world of crime, murder, and…algae when a hounded Vice President calls on him to save his career–and possibly life!

Featuring the acting talents of Jared Latore, Lise “Kat” Evans, and Sebastian H. Orr, with live foley by Ele Matelan and music by DJ Catnip.  The Live Episode was written by Clayton Faits and directed by Jeffrey Gardner, with music direction by Betsey Palmer.  Assistant director, Brian Foster.



Wrapping up Season Five

Policies and Policettes:

We hope you have enjoyed the fifth season of Our Fair City. We certainly enjoyed making it!

The MolePeople are already hard at work on Season Six, which we plan to debut on January 17th, 2015.  But never fear—until then, there will still be lots of new content from Our Fair City coming to our website and podcast feed!

Next week, our Summer Comic Series will launch on our website with “There is only one queen,” by Johnny Miller and Mark Soloff. We’ll follow that with “The Exercise”-  the second installment of “The Department” by Ryan Simmons, David Rheinstrom, and Dann Tincher.  We’ll be rounding out the break with a brand new webcomic, “Stormhawk: Out in the Cold”, by Tyne Lowe and Jim McDoniel.  We’ll also be releasing clips from our live performances, blooper reels, and more through our podcast feed!

If you’re in the Chicagoland area, you also have the chance to see Our Fair City perform our brand-new live show at the Chicago Fringe Festival between August 28th and September 6th—check back to soon for more information on the show and where to buy tickets!

Finally: loyal policies, the Vice Presidents of HartLife NFP are dedicated to bringing you the Our Fair City podcast absolutely free of charge.  However—producing a full-cast audiodrama isn’t cheap.  Our actors need food- our technicians need microphones–and our molepeople need fresh headlamps for their adorable little helmets.  You can support the show by signing up for a donation through our website–just click on the “Donate” link here and choose your amount.  Choose the “donate monthly” option to make a long-term commitment to the show’s existence!  If you are in a position to give, you can rest easily, knowing you’ve helped bring this unique and exciting artform to the world.

If you aren’t able to support the show financially, the best thing you can do is to share your favorite episode with your friends–word of mouth is absolutely the best way for us to reach new fans.

Thank you for your continued support of Our Fair City, and as always, we’ll see you in the tunnels:


Vice President Gardner

Junkyard Documentary: Photographic Evidence

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.