Our Fair City

This winter, HartLife is excited to share a new Exclusion Day Special- an Our Fair City retelling of the classic “Christmas Carol.”   This episode is a new experiment in recording for us, and will sound very different from previous episodes.  Recorded “live,” without significant editing or retakes, we hope to capture the fun of sitting around a living room, telling stories into a microphone.

  • Dr. Emily Caligari— Marsha Harman
  • Larry Joiner, Guest Narrator—Ryan Lucas
  • Clay—Clint Worthington
  • Sandy—Abby Doud
  • Andrew Snidge—Frank Sjodin
  • Flint—Clayton Faits
  • Roman—Jeffrey Gardner
  • Dr. Moro—Mark Soloff
  • Lindsey the Time Traveler—Kat Evans
  • Neal Henderson— Sebastian H. Orr
  • Ol’ Silty— Sebastian H. Orr
  • Dr. Herbert West Ryan Schile
  • Cassie Wilkins— Ele Matelan
  • Lily Wilkins— Kat Evans
  • Mrs. Wilkins— Lauren Faits
  • Loamy— Kat Evans
  • Ash— Ryan Lucas
  • Ferrous— Lauren Faits
  • George Chamberlain— Jim McDoniel
  • Ebeneezer Scrooge— Ryan Lucas
Direct download: An_Exclusion_Day_Carol.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:49pm CDT

We’re excited to share part 2 of the Season Five blooper reel- listen to part 1 here!

  • Do you make Blooper Reels?— Whitney Kraus Jones
  • A Need for Brandy—Nina O’Keefe
  • Playing the Home Game—Mark Soloff
  • Okay, Improvise!—Tyler Samples
  • Clear Skies Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim—David Rheinstrom
  • You’re Going to Die—Jared Latore
  • Standing on Mark—Tara Schile
  • Tough Words—Frank Sjodin
  • Creepiest Poem—Ele Matelan
  • Did I yell for Science again?— Ryan Schile
  • Rude Mole Songs— Sebastian H. Orr
  • The Cutest Mole Abby Doud
  • Hugging Revolutionary— Clayton Faits
  • Speak to the Gods— Kat Evans
  • Trying Valiantly— Jeffrey Gardner

Edited by David Rheinstrom.  Photo by Sebastian H. Orr. Music by Latché Swing.  We’re very, very sorry.

Direct download: Season_5_Bloopers_Vol_II.mp3
Category:Mid-Season Extra -- posted at: 10:09am CDT

This Halloween, HartLife is proud to present "Record/Record" by Mark Harrison- a finalist from the 2013 Deathscribe International Festival of Horror Audiodrama.  This piece was originally produced live at the 2013 festival, which was produced by WildClaw Theatre.   

  • Alan Jenson— Jared Latore

Written by Mark Harrison. Directed by Jeffrey Gardner. Sound Design by DJ Catnip.  Music by Stephen Poon. Photograph by Michael Sander. Produced by David Rheinstrom, with Ryan Schile. Production Management by Betsey Palmer.  With special thanks to Ryan Schile, David Rheinstrom, Ele Matelan, Allie Kunkler, Sarah D Espinoza, Brian Amidei, Aly Renee Amidei, Scott T. Barsotti, and everyone at WildClaw Theatre and the Deathscribe Festival.    

Direct download: Record-record_with_credits.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm CDT

This July, four of us - head writer Clayton Faits, director Jeffrey Gardner, composer Stephen Poon, and producer David Rheinstrom - took to the streets of Chicago to compete in KCRW's 24-Hour Radio Race; we had 24 hours to produce a 4-minute documentary, and the prompt we were given was "You Should Know..."

We didn't win.  But!  We liked what we made, and so we're sharing it with you.

The piece was primarily edited by Clayton and David, directed by Jeffrey, and the music composed and performed by Stephen.  It was awesome.  We'd do it again.

Direct download: KCRWs_24_Hour_Radio_Race_Entry_-_Magic_Phone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44am CDT

Recorded on-site at the 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival, Our Fair City is pleased to present our very first full recording of a live episode.  Uncover the dark secrets of Hartlife as Detective Jack Winters gets to the bottom of a double murder in the algae fields.

  • Detective Jack Winters— Jared Latore
  • Edwin Burke— Sebastian H. Orr
  • Detective Haley Burnham— Kat Evans
  • Chris— Sebastian H. Orr
  • Harlan— Kat Evans
  • Bernice Prendergast— Kat Evans
  • Curtis— Sebastian H. Orr
  • Brian Orlan— Sebastian H. Orr
  • An InternKat Evans


Written by Clayton Faits. Directed by Jeffrey Gardner. Live Foley design and performance by Ele Matelan.  Music Direction by Betsey Palmer Music and electronic environment by DJ Catnip, with Betsey Palmer.  Assistant Direction by Brian Foster. Lyrics by David Rheinstrom, with Clayton Faits.  Stage management by Cat Cefalu.  Production Management by Betsey Palmer.  Created by Clayton Faits.  Recorded live at the 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival.

Season Five Blooper Reel- Pt 1

Lots of great cuts from this season—watch for pt 2 later in the year!

  • Welcome aboard!— Jared Latore
  • Love for Fish—Ryan Schile
  • Working Leg—Tyler Samples
  • For the record, he writes this schlock—Mark Soloff
  • Agent to the stars—Clayton Faits
  • The Best Doctor—Marsha Harman
  • Tastes Microphones—Ele Matelan
  • Knock knock, MolePeople!—David Rheinstrom
  • Singing Fool—Jeffrey Gardner
  • Tasteless Pants— Ansel Burch
  • Improv is about Specifics— Jim McDoniel
  • Very patient with our attempts at Music Stephen Poon
  • So many syllables— Frank Sjodin
  • Nintendo Old Man— Whitney Kraus Jones
  • Quaking in Our Boots— Ben Aldred

Edited by David Rheinstrom.  Photo by Sebastian H. Orr. Music by Latché Swing.  We’re very, very sorry.

Direct download: Season_5_Bloopers_Vol._I.mp3
Category:Mid-Season Extra -- posted at: 10:34am CDT

Just because Season 5 is over doesn't mean you won't be getting tasty Our Fair City content all summer long!  Producer David Rheinstrom drops the deets.


That marvelous photo of Clayton comes courtesy of Sebastian Orr Photography.

Direct download: End_of_Season_5_Update__Also_News..mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm CDT


The Tunnels thrum, the city roars, and the Policies of HartLife are beside themselves- the long promised Launch Day has arrived.  With the dastardly plans of Project Manager Charles Wynn revealed to a few and the Hendersonians closing in on the festivities on Level Omega, what will happen when the Hope of HartLife is finally set to its purpose?  Find out, as the Fifth seasonal retelling of the history of Our Fair City comes to a close.

Direct download: SeasonFiveEpisode10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm CDT

Episode 5.9 - A Single Twisted Spoke


As Launch Day for the Hope of HartLife draws closer, the intrepid Andrew Snidge digs deeper into the mystery that is the Big Dig project.  What does Project Manager Charles Wynn have in store for Cassie and the rest of our meddlesome heroes?  Find out as the story of Our Fair City continues.

Direct download: SeasonFiveEpisode09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm CDT

The warrens of Old Tunnel are vast, labyrinthine, and dangerous.  One must take the utmost caution when traversing their mold-ridden expanses–unless, of course, you are the MolePerson designated Loamy.  Then, barbeque sauce and a nursery song will have to do.


Our Fair City would like to dedicate this episode to the families, caretakers, and researchers who are working with patients of Alzheimer’s’ disease.  Learn more at alz.org or alzheimers.org.uk.

Direct download: SeasonFiveEpisode08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:15pm CDT

Tonight, we return to that lair of unnatural, unsupervised, and decidedly un-corporate science: the Montgomery Moro Museum and Memorial House, as we join the Doctors and Andrew Snidge as they welcome Cassie in for that most dangerous of gatherings: a home-cooked meal with the family.

Direct download: Episode_07-_Dinner_with_the_Doctors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

What dreams might rest inside the sleeping brain of a MolePerson?  While you, loyal Policy, have surely never wasted valuable corporate time on such frivolous thoughts–rest assured, the company has an answer.  Journey with us into…the mind of the MOLE.

Direct download: SeasonFiveEpisode06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am CDT


Tensions begin to boil as a group of insurgents, know only as “The Hendersonians,” prepare for a stunning display of corporate disloyalty and defiance.  What horrors will they unleash on the good Policies of HartLife?  What harm will they do to the mighty infrastructure of the Corporation?  And most importantly–how will HartLife restore order and safety?  Find out…as the story of Our Fair City continues.

Direct download: Episode_05-_Artistic_Differences.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm CDT

We bring our mid-season break to a close with a new experiment from HartLife NFP- our first audio documentary.  Join associate producer David Rheinstrom, sound designer Ryan Schile, and audio engineer DJ Catnip as they venture into a Chicago junkyard...to destroy a few cars.  For sound.

You can also view a few more images from our trip on our website!

Edited by David Rheinstrom.  Audio captured by Ryan Schile, David Rheinstrom, and DJ Catnip.  Recorded on location at Cash for Junk Autos in Chicago, IL.

Music: The Good Lawdz and Latché Swing, licensed under Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike licenses.

Direct download: Junkyard_Documentary_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm CDT

We hope you enjoy these things as much as we enjoy making them.

  • Insidious Forces of….— Ansel Burch
  • Needs to be healthy for the rest of his life—Mark Soloff
  • The Risen Dead—Ryan Schile
  • Photobombing the Risen Dead—Tara Schile
  • Can you make weird noises?—Jeffrey Gardner
  • Woooooo…—Sebastian H. Orr
  • Excessive Flatulence—Frank Sjodin
  • No matter how old he gets—Tyler Samples
  • Protective of his words—Clayton Faits
  • Looking great today—David Rheinstrom

Edited by David Rheinstrom.  Photo by Sebastian H. Orr. Music by Latché Swing.  We’re very, very sorry.

Direct download: Season_4_Bloopers.mp3
Category:Mid-Season Extra -- posted at: 12:21pm CDT

Attn: Loyal Policies:  Per the mandate of the Directors, we will be beginning our mid-season break slightly ahead of schedule.  Never fear: while you wait for further True Historical Accounts of HartLife, we will be providing you with several entertaining bits of ephemera from our archives.  First up: Our Fair City’s Associate Producer David Rheinstrom has prepared this delightful preview of an upcoming piece of documentary work on capturing foley and sound effects.


Edited by David Rheinstrom.  Audio captured by Ryan Schile, David Rheinstrom, and DJ Catnip.  Recorded on location at Cash for Junk Autos in Chicago, IL.

Direct download: Season_Break_Documentary_Preview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:42pm CDT

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. In the iTunes store, find Our Fair City, and resubscribe to the Our Fair City podcast. Second, if you are subscribed through other services like Downcast or DoubleTwist, update your program with the following feed URL: http://ourfaircity.libsyn.com/rss. Thank you for your loyalty to the corporation; as always, we will see you in the tunnels. Thank you for resubscribing!
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57pm CDT

Episode 5.4 - Geonautical Console-Tations

Descend with the young Cassie Wilkins into the very bowels of the city, to the newly carved out Sector Omega.  Thrill at being deeper than any policy has ever gone before- and marvel at the magnificent and mammoth Geoship that will take Policy Wilkins even deeper.  Yes, loyal listeners- it is truly a new day of exploration for Our Fair City.

  • Cassie Wilkins— Ele Matelan
  • Charlie Wynn— Jared Latore
  • Agent Chamberlain— Jim McDoniel
  • Doctor Herbert West— Ryan Schile
  • Doctor Emily Caligari— Marsha Harman
  • Andrew Snidge— Frank Sjodin
  • Alison Dalton— Nina O’Keefe
  • The Voice of HartLife— Jeffrey Gardner
  • The Narrator— Ansel Burch
Direct download: Episode_5.4_-_Geonautical_Console-Tations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am CDT


Policies, do not listen to the Outsider or Dissenter, who may tell you that your commute to work in the morning is unpleasant!  With HartLife, all elements of the work-day experience have been finely crafted to encourage employee satisfaction, synergistic excellence, and above all, maximum productivity.  Truly: who could not appreciate the gentle, warming lightrise as the daytime illumination slowly comes online?  The clean, cool feel of the recirculated air, pumping gently through your tunnels?  The first whiff of Algae-based coffee beverages, distributed at a compact, efficient kiosk in your PeopleMover station?  But wait- who is that behind the kiosk desk?  Find out, as the story of Our Fair City continues.

Direct download: Episode_5.3_-_Rise_and_Shine.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 8:24am CDT

The day begins unexpectedly for Doctor Emily Caligari, as she desperately attempts to avoid that high crime against Productivity - Tardiness. Will she arrive at her meeting on time?  Will our friends, the newly underemployed riggers, find suitable occupations?  Will Sandy and Clay settle down into co-habitating bliss? Will Elizabeth Rourke pass her Identity Variance exam?  Find out, as the story of Our Fair City…continues.


Direct download: Episode_5.2_-_Everything_In_Its_Place.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 9:57am CDT

We rejoin the policies of HartLife as they bask in the warm glow of the power surplus created by the fusion reactor and Neal Henderson’s sacrifice.  HartLife is not idle, however- what will the company do with this new bounty?  What new joys will they bring their loyal policies?  What pleasures will our dear friends experience during this time of plenty?  Find out, as the Fifth Season of the HartLife Historical Records begins….

Direct download: Episode_5.01.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 10:17am CDT

That's right, folks! It's a PARTY. And you're invited! 1/18/14 at DFBRL8R, in Chicago - Doors @ 8, suggested donation $20 Music: "Another Boring Lunchtime (Edit)" by Psychadelik Pedestrian
Direct download: LaunchPartyAnnouncementwithMusic.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:36pm CDT