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 through October 16.
Elena Karnezis: Dot from Sunday in the Park inspires me. It takes such courage to look at a situation you are in and say "I deserve better" and still be able to reflect on that situation with gratitude and with strength. Despite what others would say about her, she would persevere, and she never gave up on herself or her goals. Dot was not afforded an education, so she took it upon herself to learn how to read. Dot was treated as though she was less than by other women in her community, but she stuck up for herself and called them out. Dot will always be a person I look to for strength. She is a guiding force in her own life and to those she loves.
Isabella LeBarr: The Broadway character that inspires me is Veronica from Heathers. She was a girl who felt lost as she was growing up. She goes through this journey of self discovery through the musical. Each song helps her realize the person she is meant to be. She stands up to bullies. She falls in love and out of it. She realizes what it means to be a friend. I think seeing this imperfect character portrayed as the heroine is truly inspiring to me. She is flawed like I am. She doesn’t have the perfect life, and she makes mistakes, but she learns from them to improve. It is a true coming of age story about growing up in a drama-filled society. The songs are catchy and hard to not sing along to which makes it even more memorable.
Jennifer Meyer: Satine from Moulin Rouge inspires me because she tries her best to follow her dreams and live for the people around her even when extremely sick. As a survivor of breast cancer, I know what it’s like to cling to the things you love and wanting to be strong for the people around you. Satine pushes herself to perform in the Moulin Rouge’s final show, because she loves her fellow performers, despite her declining health. As a mom and wife, I, too, felt I had to be strong and carry on to help take care of my children and be there for my husband. As Satine sings, “I will love you until my dying day,” she stirs up such strong emotion in me because I, too, had to face the reality of the hardships of breast cancer, committing to love my family until no longer physically possible. Satine maintains her strength and composure for her loved ones, a sentiment I shared so strongly while dealing with cancer surgeries and treatments.
Lorraine Ruiz: Tina Turner's character in Tina the musical was very inspirational. She dealt with many obstacles and challenges with her mother, husband, executives from record labels, and society as a whole. Tina overcame them by believing in herself and pursuing her passion to sing. Even when she wanted to give up, she never did, and that is a testament of her character.
Katelynn McFadden: "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods gives me chills every time I hear it. There are goods and bads in the world, but you will always have someone who agrees with you. You will always have support, and that keeps me going through anything. That song encourages me to believe I can push through any challenge, like fighting a giant, that may seem insurmountable at first, but with support from people on this side and the other will be right there to encourage me and support me.
Viguens Louis: I believe the Broadway character that inspires me the most is the character Youth from the musical Passing Strange. Youth's storyline throughout the musical carried such a unique outlook on a person of color finding themselves. Especially through art. Within the plot, Youth shies away from the church he grew up in to pursue a career in music. On that journey, he learns a lot about personal growth and not losing the sense of yourself throughout that process. It helps me understand that your own personal journey may have times when it is a bit rocky. However, if you stay true to yourself, your growth will propel you forward through unprecedented times. The main character of the musical Passing Strange, Youth, inspires me to never lose track of my path.