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.
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Leslie Marshall: "'My Shot' from Hamilton is my go-to song when I feel overwhelmed by a task or challenge. I ask Alexa to play it and to turn up the volume, and then I sing along at the top of my lungs while dancing across the kitchen floor. It’s a reminder to me that those that came before us faced overwhelming odds in pursuing their dreams and ambitions. The life we’ve been given is worth fighting for, and I’m not throwing away my shot!"
Matthew Rooney: "A Broadway song that inspires me is 'Take Me or Leave Me' from Rent. I love the message it conveys about standing up for yourself. If you are being mistreated by someone you know, you shouldn't have to take it. Thats what this song is saying. Appreciate me for who I am and not what you want me to be."
Sadhika Salariya: "Nala from The Lion King symbolizes strength, perseverance, and independence. She emerges as a loyal, headstrong character who learns how to hold her own and protect the ones she loves."
Shona Blumeneau: "Elder Price, weirdly enough. He grows up being indoctrinated with these crazy ideas and sets out in the world to make what he thinks will be a positive impact, only to have his faith questioned. When it is, he doesn't stop trying to help people, he just pivots and finds a new way to give to the world. Even after going through a life-changing experience, he realizes that the people he's with now are better than the ones he grew up with."
Spencer LaFrandre: "I am inspired by the song 'Happiness' from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Specifically the line, 'Happiness is anything and anyone at all that’s loved by you.' It’s a simple sentiment, but it cuts through. So much is written in the spirit of 'follow your dreams' or 'don’t dream it; be it'—which can be an energizing sentiment, but these dreams are so often unattained. The song 'Happiness' breathes subtly with an appreciation for life’s smaller victories and everyday creature comforts. Children deliver the message (the characters are all elementary students) and though some might dismiss them as naïve or simplistic, what they really are is sincere. Their song inspires me to be more sincere in my adult life and to allow myself to enjoy all life’s little lovely moments."
Kristelle Juhasz: "Maria Rainer from The Sound of Music inspires me because she is a strong, opinionated woman who isn’t afraid to embrace her passion wherever it may take her. Her love for music allows her to save the Von Trapp family and teach them to love music as well. As a young woman I love to see strong female leads that follow what they love and can make the world a better place."