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 May 17–June 16.
Jamie Wood: "'I Am What I Am' from La Cage is the song that inspires me. I think all of us feel like we're fundamentally broken in some way. This song is the moment of not only self-acceptance, but self-empowerment, self-love, and release of ego. By letting go of our need to fit into what's 'normal' we find that we are much more than our self- or society-imposed limitations. So, when I feel beaten down, this is the song that I sing to lift myself back up again."
Carlos E Jimenez Pons: "'Proud Of Your Boy' from Aladdin is a special song for me. I saw myself fading away from my mother's memory as she slowly lost her battle against Alzheimer's disease, and she never mentioned any of the many times I disappointed her. Now that I am the parent of an amazing boy myself, I want my son to know how proud I am of him, and I tell him every day."
Manda Danvers: "My favorite show of all time is Hadestown for too many reasons to count, but the one song that has always stood out to me and never fails to bring me to tears is 'If It’s True.' This show has some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever had the honor of hearing but this song specifically holds so much power and I wish it were more of a fan favorite. Out of all the songs about standing up for what you believe in, this one delivers a message in such simple yet impactful words: 'I believe in us together more than anyone alone,' and 'it isn’t for the few to tell the many what is true.' I’m standing in line typing this at Joann’s Fabric and I’m nearly getting emotional just thinking about how much I love this song. Unrivaled."
Nina Laing: "Jenna in Waitress is an inspiration to me because she’s beautifully imperfect. She has insecurities and makes mistakes. She doesn’t always stand up for herself, nor does she truly fight for the happiness she desires and deserves, which leads to her feeling trapped in an unhappy and abusive marriage. In spite of this, she is impossibly kind, good-humored, compassionate, selfless, and, ultimately, resilient. It is so encouraging how she eventually finds her inner strength and takes charge of her life. Her journey shows that you can lose your way and even, temporarily, lose yourself but still triumph in the end and turn your life into something wonderful."
Rose Van Tine: "'Hope' from Groundhog Day comes to mind automatically. And it's been so relevant during these past two years. There were plenty of times during the pandemic where I felt so lost and everything felt so monotonous that I wanted to give up. Specifically these lyrics: 'Never give up hope / Never let yourself be defeated. If you tried it once you can try again, a new day will follow / There’s always tomorrow' have saved my life and my sanity on multiple occasions. I even wear a bracelet that has 'Never give up hope' written on it to remind me there are better days ahead during these trying times."
Stephanie Zhou: "'My Shot' from Hamilton inspires me to never give up on any opportunity that comes my way. The song motivates me to work hard in my everyday life to achieve my dream goal of becoming a doctor. Health equality and access to care are some of the topics I am most passionate in fighting for in the future. I couldn’t do it without a continued pursuit in my college education and continuing to study hard everyday."