The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Joseph Hardy

Joseph Hardy

Born on Friday, March 8, 1929

Interviewed on: Thursday, October 6, 2016
Location: at His Home
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #81
"I said, ‘Look, [the characters in YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN] just have to be real. They are comic strip characters, and they have to be real. They cannot be goofy … they have to be real actors playing real characters. That’s all.’"
Joseph Hardy Highlights
Video Length: 6 Minutes
Joseph Hardy Interview
Video Length: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Joseph Hardy is a stage director with an extensive Broadway and Off-Broadway career. One of his first major works was the original production of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (1967) at Theater 80 St. Marks. He had to fight hard with the writer and producers to get his concept for the show on stage, and his hard work paid off. In 1967, he was awarded the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director. His other Off-Broadway directing credits include: HOUSE OF FLOWERS (1968), WHAT THE BUTLER SAW (1970), THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND and AFTER MAGRITTE (1972), GRACE (2008), NIGHTINGALE (2009), and THE DANCE OF DEATH (2013). Joe Hardy had a close working relationship with actress Lynn Redgrave, who starred in his productions of GRACE and NIGHTINGALE.

Born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, Hardy joined the US military after graduating from New Mexico Highlands University with a degree in English Literature. He left the Army early to return to Highlands for graduate studies. He took over the theatre program there for one year, but then left to attend the Yale School of Drama, where he received an MFA in Directing. Hardy started his career working as a script editor for soap operas and he returned to that world later in his career as a producer. He has found success on Broadway as well, winning a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for Child’s Play (1970). Hardy’s other Broadway credits include: Johnny No-Trump (1967), Play It Again, Sam (1969), Bob and Ray – The Two and Only (1970), Children! Children! (1972), Gigi (1973), and The Night of the Iguana (1976).

Mentioned in Interview

Jules Fisher, Patricia Birch, Harold Arlen, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, Lynn Redgrave, Lawrence Goosen, Theater de Lys, Lucille Lortell Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre Four, St. Marks Theater, Cherry Lane Theatre, Maidman Playhouse, Actors’ Playhouse, THE DANCE OF DEATH, NIGHTENGALE, GRACE, THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND, AFTER MAGRITTE, WHAT THE BUTLER SAW, HOUSE OF FLOWERS, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, NIGHT OF THE DUNCE, DARK CORNERS/MR. GROSSMAN, THE STREETS OF NEW YORK