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 July 17–August 16.
Dylan Henschen: "'Morning Glow' from Pippin. While the show is no longer on Broadway, the message is timeless. After Pippin executes his father and tyrant Charlemagne, he sings this song with a message of hope to create a better future. The song suggests that the cycle of generational wrongdoing is capable of being broken and there is hope for a brighter tomorrow."
Danielle Urban: "A Broadway character that inspires me is Barbara Maitland from Beetlejuice. I think she is so strong and kind, and goes through such a turn of emotions throughout the show. She goes from being scared of the future and concerned about what to do after dying to someone who is willing to do so much to protect her husband as well as Lydia. In 'Barbara 2.0' she says how she wants to stay for Lydia, be the people who don't run from her, and I think that's so remarkable because she spent her life running from what she was scared of to being ready to defend Lydia and not running from the problems involving Beetlejuice that were very scary and directly in front of her."
Janelle Oto: "One of the songs that inspires me is 'Satisfied' from Hamilton. Angelica is my favorite Hamilton character as well. The song is inspiring because it is about the what if, what if she had taken a chance on Alexander instead of introducing him to Eliza. It is relatable—We all have our own what ifs but will we stand by the choices we made? She questions her own satisfaction but stands back and watches from afar. It is inspiring that she chose family over herself and if given the chance she would stick by her choice and do it the same way all over again. Angelica further makes the same choice again in the second act with her response to the Reynolds pamphlet."
Jana Choberka: "The song 'Six' from the musical Six. The entire premise of the song is based on the strength and power of women which is often lacking in our society. It emphasizes each woman's strength and how they were so much more than just a number or a children’s rhyme. At the end of the musical, the women unite and realize they’re so much stronger together than individually, which is always true. We get wrapped up in our way of life and think of everything as a competition but our lives are so much more valuable and important than that. Our happiness and living our lives to the fullest is what’s most important and I think that’s portrayed beautifully in this song."
Justin Lee: "The song that inspires me the most is 'We Raise Our Cups' from Hadestown. The most beautiful part of Hadestown is that they continue to sing the story of Orpheus and Eurydice again and again despite knowing full well it ends in tragedy, and I think this song acknowledges that strand of hopefulness Orpheus (and the rest of us) manages to hold onto each time. The song to me feels like a toast to all those who are dreamers like Orpheus, fighting against all odds and not giving way to hopelessness."
Linda de Moreta: "Usnavi in In the Heights. He is eternally optimistic, warm, and caring. He has such strong connections to his family, friends and community. He keeps a firm grip on what true happiness is, and does not lose sight of the things that really matter in life."