Sarah Pidgeon

All CLOTHING and SHOES by Ferragamo. TIGHTS by Fogal. NECKLACE by Givenchy. RING by Completed Works.

Sarah Pidgeon Finds a Community on Broadway

Few actors get a Broadway debut as communal as the 27-year-old Sarah Pidgeon. Not only is she among the six out of seven castmembers of Stereophonic taking their first turns on Broadway, but her nomination for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play as Diana is one of a record-breaking thirteen Tony nominations for the critically acclaimed play.

Written by David Adjmi, Stereophonic follows a fictional rising seventies rock band as they record their highly anticipated album, their efforts stretching out longer than expected over a year. Mimicking Fleetwood Mac’s tumultuous recording of Rumours, the interpersonal challenges of the bandmates dramatically unfold against the backdrop of a recording studio as they each try to find their own footing in the group.

TOP  and EARRINGS by ,Chanel

TOP and EARRINGS by Chanel

With original music by Will Butler, formerly of Arcade Fire and currently the frontman of Will Butler + Sister Squares, the period-appropriate tracks do more than just unite the story as the unnamed Stereophonic band trudges its way through many months of recording and have served to unite the actors as well. “The whole process of learning the music made us so much closer to each other. It’s so vulnerable to make music, and it’s vulnerable to act,” says Pidgeon, explaining that most of her castmates didn’t have much professional musical experience before the production began. “Just messing up and learning the music and then that partnered with learning these characters and doing these scenes, it made for quicker deep and strong connections than in other experiences that I’ve had,” she continues. “It helped the music too because everyone messed up at a certain point. What we started learning was that we really had to listen to each other. Once we learned the music, the next step was to be musical with it instead of doing it by the book. Then it started to become ours.”

COAT and vintage SHOES by ,JW Anderson. ,TIGHTS by ,Falke. ,EARRINGS by ,Khaite.

COAT and vintage SHOES by JW Anderson. TIGHTS by Falke. EARRINGS by Khaite.

During preparation, the cast was given the perfect opportunity to make the music their own. At Butler’s suggestion, they were invited to open for a Will Butler + Sister Squares show in Brooklyn to get the feel for performing as a cohesive band. “Immediately I said, ‘I don’t want to do that,’” says Pidgeon, laughing. “It’s one thing to perform in that box upstage and in a theatrical environment where you don’t have to acknowledge the audience but performing on stage in a concert, there’s the immediacy of the response and the acknowledgment that someone is listening to you. I was really scared that we were going to be bad.” At one of her castmate’s urging, Pidgeon realized that it was an opportunity she shouldn’t pass up over nerves. “I’m really glad I did it; it was so exhilarating,” she says. “Despite really loving playing the music being in this unnamed band, I don’t know when I’ll have another chance to do that. Right now, it is not something that I would pursue. It’s way too scary.”

All CLOTHING, SHOES, and JEWELRY by ,Chanel. ,TIGHTS by ,Calzedonia.

All CLOTHING, SHOES, and JEWELRY by Chanel. TIGHTS by Calzedonia.

Perhaps that’s why, despite belting out hypnotic melodies eight times a week on Broadway as the band's lead singer, Pidgeon is hesitant to label herself a musician. “This project has helped me find that voice and find more confidence in it, but I still don’t think I would call myself a singer,” says Pidgeon. “I think I’m an actor who can sing. The idea of singing, it’s that it’s standalone. This show is so embedded within the reality of being in a recording studio. It’s a skill that I learned and got better at for this show, but it’s not something that I could do without the world that we created in the show because of limitations and fear and a lot of anxiety. I can’t imagine just getting up on stage and singing to an audience and serenading them.”

While every character struggles to find their footing among the crumbling group dynamics, Diana starts on shaky ground with so much of her confidence attached to her husband, bandmate, and de facto leader of the group, Peter. She is often shy to share her own songwriting and believes her success is tied to his, resulting in emotional swings that depend on others’ opinions. “I think that what drew me to Diana was her intense depth of feeling, and I don’t think she can always articulate what those feelings are,” says Pidgeon. “I think she uses her music for a lot of it.” For Diana, her journey is about finding her voice, sometimes quite literally, as in one scene where she struggles to hit a high note while navigating a breakup with the gifted but overbearing Peter.

All CLOTHING and SHOES by ,Ferragamo. ,TIGHTS by ,Fogal. ,NECKLACE by ,Givenchy. ,RING by ,Completed Works.

All CLOTHING and SHOES by Ferragamo. TIGHTS by Fogal. NECKLACE by Givenchy. RING by Completed Works.

Growing up in Birmingham, Michigan, Pidgeon was raised playing classical piano and spent summer months attending the Interlochen Arts Camp, where she dove into musical theater, even taking voice lessons as a teenager. Pidgeon, who describes being surrounded by “these voices that could really sing” in her program and feeling like that wasn’t her style of voice, opted not to pursue musical theater while attending the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, instead focusing on traditional acting. She quickly gained traction following her graduation in 2018, securing roles on Amazon’s The Wilds and as a younger version of Kathryn Hahn’s character in Hulu’s Tiny Beautiful Things. Now in Stereophonic, Pidgeon is finding the opportunity to use her voice in a project exciting. “I think the project that I want to do next is to build on this idea. I want to either get in amazing shape and learn some cool martial arts or a sport or maybe a different instrument, some sort of skill. That’s what’s so exciting about this career: You become these different people that are better and work at certain things [more] than you, and get to live these slices of life. Sarah Pidegon will never be a rock star in the seventies except in this play. Or I don’t know, maybe I’ll do something later,” she says, laughing. “With Diana, I just loved how much she felt. I’m a big feeler. I think that’s probably why I’m an actor. I love feeling that. I love feeling things. I want to go to movies and I want to cry and I want to laugh and I want to be biting my nails—likewise with theater. Doing the play makes me feel all those things.”



Before garnering a record number of Tony nominations, Stereophonic began with an Off Broadway run at the famed Playwrights Horizons, a stage known for debuting recent celebrated productions such as A Strange Loop and Sunday in the Park With George. Pidgeon had originally received the casting notice in 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, plans to go ahead with the production stalled until last fall, when it ran from October to December, earning a spot on numerous year-end best-of lists. When the production came up for Pidgeon a second time, she was still struck by the writing and jumped at the opportunity. “In May of last year, I got the audition again and I remembered it and I looked at my old audition. I was really glad I got another chance to do it just because I’m a different person than I was three-and-a-half years ago at that point,” she recalls. “What stuck with me again was just how human it was and how, when you’re reading it, there were so many lines I wanted to say in real life. I want to remember that line when I’m trying to describe how I feel or even when I’m in an argument with someone. I just thought it was beautiful.”

COAT and vintage SHOES by ,JW Anderson. ,TIGHTS by ,Falke.

COAT and vintage SHOES by JW Anderson. TIGHTS by Falke.

Having had the opportunity to work together with her castmates through such an extended run, Pidgeon marvels at how they’ve become like family. “I’m quite a shy person when I meet people in work environments. I’m new to the New York theater scene, so back in August, when I met them, I was pretty quiet,” she says. “The first couple of days, I would take my lunch to the roof of Playwrights and eat by myself. But now they’re the closest people in my life in a big way. I feel so bonded to them now, it’s kind of insane.”

All CLOTHING, SCARF, and EARRINGS by ,Givenchy. ,SOCKS by ,COS,. SHOES by ,Adidas. ,RING by ,Completed Works.

All CLOTHING, SCARF, and EARRINGS by Givenchy. SOCKS by COS. SHOES by Adidas. RING by Completed Works.

Speaking with Pidgeon, she seems in wonderment at experiencing her Broadway debut alongside a cast and crew she adores, gushing with gratitude about her fellow actors and creative collaborators. “Of course, I couldn’t have dreamt this because I didn’t know that this existed. I guess it was always supposed to be this way in the story of my life. Having my family there at opening night, they've been to everything since I was a little, little baby doing fairytale stories on a small little stage,” she says, tearing up as she reflects on her journey to where she is now. “It’s like, ‘Oh wow,’ just thinking about doing that as a little girl and my parents being so supportive of the small children’s plays to now understanding that I'm here on the national stage. I just don’t know how this happened.”

Stereophonic continues through August 18 at the Golden Theatre, New York.

Sarah Pidgeon

All CLOTHING and EARRINGS by Burberry. RING by Completed Works.

Sarah Pidgeon

COAT by JW Anderson. EARRINGS by Khaite.

HAIR by Ubu. MAKEUP by Nanase. PHOTOGRAPHER'S ASSISTANT: Danny Alstar. STYLIST'S ASSISTANT: Hatsune Ninomiya .

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