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Brought to you by:

HartLife, NFP

All The Life You'll Ever Need...


HartLife NFP, the audio-drama company behind eight seasons of the acclaimed science fiction epic Our Fair City, has opened its monolithic doors once again to bring you Unwell, A Midwestern Gothic Mystery. HartLife is based in Chicago and comprised of diverse team of professional writers, directors, actors, and sound designers. HartLife NFP has won awards and critical acclaim for its dynamic acting, incisive writing and high level of production.


DJ Catnip (aka Mel Ruder) has been with Hartlife since 2013 as the sound engineer for Seasons 3-8, as the resident DJ of Hartlife's heavily theme-designed live event parties. They have also been a performer and composer for Hartlife's Chicago Fringe appearances, and as a  supporting sound designer and recordist for Our Fair City. 

Recently, Mel has been engineering Seasons 1-3 of Hartlife's new show Unwell, A Midwest Gothic Mystery and building hybrid-string instruments.

a Midwestern Gothic Mystery, 
new from HartLife NFP.

*Unwell was named the Best Podcast / Online Audio Drama in the 2021 BBC Audio Drama Awards!*



Contributing sound artist, contributing composer, contributing vocals, percussion

Audio Engineer Season 1, 2018

Audio Engineer Season 2, 2019

Audio Engineer Season 3, 2020

Upcoming Season 4 Audio Engineer, 2021

About the show:

Lillian Harper moves to the small town of Mt. Absalom, Ohio, to care for her estranged mother Dorothy after an injury. Living in the town's boarding house which has been run by her family for generations, she discovers conspiracies, ghosts, and a new family in the house's strange assortment of residents. Contains non-binary characters!

Our Fair City
A Post-Apocalypic Sci-Fi Radio Epic...For The Internet
Studio Manager/staff  2014 - 2018
Audio Engineer Seasons 3, 4, 5 ,6, 7, 8
Resident DJ 2013 - 2018 
Fringe Festivals 2013 & 2014
About the show:
Our Fair City is a darkly funny, highly whimsical look at consumerism and just how bad things can get. Set in the not-so-distant future, the skies are stormy and the landscape is a vast frozen tundra. Lightning rigs high above the city gather energy from thunderstorms, mad scientists walk the earth, and adorably monstrous Molepeople dig tunnels deep underground to expand the city habitable space.

Skewering corporate culture and making audiences laugh since 2011, Our Fair City has quickly become a notable entry in the audiodrama world. Produced by a staff of Chicago storefront theatre veterans, experienced sound designers, and science educators, Our Fair City has won awards and critical acclaim for its dynamic acting, incisive writing, and high level of production. 


Our Fair City is available for free streaming online, through iTunes, or through your favorite RSS feed service.

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