I'm Sorry You're Happy, A body of work created by Mark Charney and Jarred Elrod

“I’m Sorry You’re Happy” is a creative collaboration between Playwright Mark Charney and Graphic Designer Jarred Elrod. The overall project is split into three distinct bodies of work called volleys. Each volley is a collection of writing and images that works like a game of tag. This site is a collection of three different types of volleys:
  • 1) Multiple image responses to one piece of writing
  • 2) A back and forth body of work that begins with an image
  • 3) A back and forth body of work that begins with a piece of writing


Both Charney and Elrod felt the process of volleying work back and forth was a fantastic engine for creating unexpected and engaging narratives. The nature of sharing forced them to think less about control and more about capitalizing on possibilities found in the content. This mindset allowed for both creation of new work in addition to discovering alternative applications / powerful connections to previously created work. Perhaps most importantly, they found the process to be a generator for unlimited creative opportunities—all they had to do was get the ball rolling.

Project Foundations

Prior to starting the project, Charney and Elrod began meeting weekly over drinks to discuss the possibilities of a collaboration. After only a few sessions the basic blueprint for “I’m Sorry You’re Happy” was created. The rest, as they say, was history.

They wanted to focus on three central ideas:

  • 1) To create a truly cross discipline collaboration
  • 2) To enhance one another's creative skills through interaction of creative processes.
  • 3) To experiment with and extend the scope of this project through demonstrations, workshops, lectures and exhibitions.

Over the next five months, Elrod and Charney created and exchanged pieces of work in addition to creating a lecture / workshop that was presented at the 2013 Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). The workshop and demonstration encouraged attendees to engage in a similar process of collaboration with each other on site and in the moment. It was a great success. “I’m Sorry You’re Happy” culminated with a gallery exhibition of the work at the Texas Tech Satellite Gallery in June of 2013. The show was a fantastic success, engaging over 500 patrons in the process of experiencing the three Volleys of work presented.

© Elrod & Charney, 2013