Meet the Team behind Clerical Error Productions, Inc.
Kate Duffy is co-founder, CEO, and head writer for Clerical Error Productions. Since retiring from the IUPUI Department of English, she has sung, danced, and performed dramatic roles, stand up comedy, and storytelling in various venues in the Indianapolis area. Her favorite role is the tea-slinging Mrs. O’Boyle, housekeeper to the dissolute priests on Perpendicular Island in CEP’s Father Ned series. Kate has had six plays produced through Indy Fringe and the Harlequin Theatre in Columbus, Indiana. She is a member of the Indiana Playwrights Circle and a frequent participant as writer and actor. She draws on her Irish heritage for subjects and themes, and is finishing a novel about an Irish-American woman in a problematic paranormal relationship with – what else? – an Irish ghost.
“Writing farce is a little like theft and a lot like a party. There isn’t a comedy writer around who hasn’t heard a line or turn of phrase and thought, ‘I could use that in a bit about…’ It isn’t because we’re unoriginal hacks (not most of the time, anyway), but because we take such great delight in the wit and surprise of a well written line that we want to give it our own twist or take it a step further so that we can experience it again. Imagine your friend held a really great party, and you had so much fun you decided to move the party to your house, put up your own decorations, and invite more friends. You didn’t really steal the party; you just want to keep the party going and let more people join in on the fun. Writing farce is a lot like that.”
A familiar face to Indy theater goers over the years, David Molloy has appeared in productions and with companies too numerous to list. He is co-founder and treasurer of Clerical Error Productions and casting coordinator for the Indiana Playwrights Circle. A resident of Brownsburg, Indiana, David spends his time off stage volunteering with feline rescue groups.
“Some thoughts on the art of comedy. When comedy is done right, it looks effortless and achieves its goal of eliciting laughter. When it doesn’t work, it’s painful, heartbreaking, and leaves the actor feeling defeated. The work that goes into making it look effortless is considerable. Crucial elements are timing, delivery, pacing, facial expression, and posture. In addition, every audience is unique and will react in different places than you expect, or none at all. Be prepared to continue, make a mental note, and move onto the next bit. In other words, comedy is the result of hard work. It usually takes several years of practice to get comfortable and deliver comedy that works.”
Jon Lindley, CEP secretary, appeared at Lilly Theatre at The Children’s Museum (as Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow), Indianapolis Shakespeare Festival, InterAction Theatre, Genesis Theatre Company, and in over a dozen productions at Phoenix Theatre, including Reckless, Woman in Mind, Stuff Happens, and Some Men. Jon toured the U.S. and Canada with the groundbreaking Omaha Magic Theatre. On returning to Indiana, he began his own company, Pan-Arts Theatre, where he produced and directed challenging experimental works, including Struck Dumb and Hamletmachine.
“When it comes to directing comedy, I feel a little like the Supreme Court Justice who said, about obscenity, ‘I know it when I see it.’ We know that comedy is what makes us laugh. But we’re hard-pressed to explain what it is, exactly, about a particular scene or line or moment in the theatre that tickles our funny bone just the right way and makes us laugh out loud. What I can say for sure is that, for me, it has something to do with finding the exquisite timing a moment needs, with setting up an expectation and then shattering it, with being simultaneously attentive to the humor of the playwright in their work and to the actor in their delivery of it. It requires a willingness to forget it’s supposed to be funny and simply playing the truth of a scene, just as much as in any drama, and allowing the absurdity to take care of itself. It needs a light heart and a light touch. It needs a sense of humor. And I know that when I see it.”
Retired from marketing efforts in private business and the not-for-profit sector, Charlie Sim is now channeling his experience into promoting local theatre. He enjoys helping organizations grow and seeing communities find their footing. He volunteers with Trusted Mentors, Community Health, the State Health Insurance Program, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and relaxes by spending time with family and pets, and visiting parks with his camera in hand.
“Comedy contributes to a community’s quality of life. It uplifts spirits and shows us what we have in common in an otherwise adversarial world.”