Each month for a year Prudential is gifting free tickets to theatre fans from across the U.S. with the Prudential Standing Ovations Ticket Giveaway, presented by Playbill. For the chance to win, entrants are answering the question "Which Broadway character or song inspires you, and why?" in a short essay or video. Read a few of last month's most stirring responses below.
Entries for this month's contest will be accepted August 17–September 16.
Ecaroh Jackson: "'The Circle of Life' is a beautiful musical piece that fits perfectly depicts the solemn but hopeful nature that cycles of life bring to the human experience. It reminds me that the beauty of life is its finite nature and that the end of a life brings forth the energy necessary to create a new beginning."
Vanshika Pallerla: "'The Wizard and I' from Wicked inspires me so much. Elphaba's longing to be something greater than what she sees in herself is very relatable to me. Then, the fact that she finds her true self and is able to ascend to new heights inspires me to pursue my dream of theatre. 'The Wizard and I' describes Elphaba's fervent passion and vision of her future. For me, I know what I want to do, even if it may be difficult and others don't see the same in me. This song truly inspires me to keep persevering, despite others' constant disapproval."
Andrea Young: "My first musical was Crazy For You and the song 'They Can’t Take That Away From Me' helps me to remember that, no matter what, nothing and no one can make me forget my stillborn son. I will always have the memories of when I was pregnant and how beautiful he was when he was born."
Carissa Nicdao: "'Children Will Listen' from Into The Woods. As a mother of three, this song acts as an inspiration to become the best mother I could possibly be on top of as a lullaby through its lyrics as well as its melody. The lyrics of this song have taught me to be extremely patient no matter how difficult the circumstances are of being a mother to three beautiful daughters. 'Careful the things you say,' 'Guide them along the way, children will glisten.' My actions as well as words are crucial in my daughters' growth as they would provide as tools to their success in anything they choose to be in the future."
Mariana Sarmento: "'God Help The Outcasts' from Hunchback of Notre Dame was the first song I ever sang. At age 8 I just heard pretty notes, but as I am continuing my MT career, the words and subtext in the song remind me that others may have negative views of you but you must remain kind and positive to yourself. It is important to be kind to others, regardless of their opinion of you. The world is so dark, and I am not a perfect person, so having that song close to my heart makes me remember it's ok for people not to like you, but it is not ok to think less of others."
Andrew Frey-Gould: "I would have to say the Baker in Into the Woods, because he struggles so much with doing things on his own to prove himself, that he doesn’t accept the help of others around him. Once he realizes that you can do anything with the help of another, he finally understands what the meaning of love and teamwork is."