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Parkland massacre survivors sing emotional rendition of RENT's Seasons of Love at the Tony Awards


Students from the drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought down the house on Broadway’s biggest stage.

There was scarcely a dry eye in the house as members of the drama department sang Seasons of Love from the popular musical RENT at the annual Tony Awards in New York City, which celebrates the best in Broadway theater.

A heroic drama teacher who nurtured many of the young people demanding change following the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was also honored from the Tony Award stage.

Melody Herzfeld, the one-woman drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was cheered by the crowd at Radio City Music Hall.

Herzfeld saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet on Valentine’s Day when police say a former student went on a school rampage, killing 17 people.

She then later encouraged many of her pupils to lead the nationwide movement for gun reform, including organizing the March For Our Lives demonstration and the charity single Shine.


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The Drama class from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School performs at the Tony Awards in New York City on Sunday

The Drama class from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School performs at the Tony Awards in New York City on Sunday

The students react after performing Seasons of Love from the musical RENT at Radio City Music Hall

The students react after performing Seasons of Love from the musical RENT at Radio City Music Hall

The crowd gave a standing ovation after the students performed the song on stage at Radio City Music Hall

The crowd gave a standing ovation after the students performed the song on stage at Radio City Music Hall

The performance was a moving one to viewers, who took to Twitter to express their emotions

The performance was a moving one to viewers, who took to Twitter to express their emotions

One viewer tweeted: ¿THE PARKLAND KIDS ARE SINGING SEASONS OF LOVE AND WE ARE ALL SOBBING'

One viewer tweeted: ‘THE PARKLAND KIDS ARE SINGING SEASONS OF LOVE AND WE ARE ALL SOBBING’

Another tweeted: ¿Rent is a musical about resilience during an epidemic that was for years openly ignored by the government as it took so many lives. Couldn't be more fitting for the Parkland kids to be singing something from it¿

Another tweeted: ‘Rent is a musical about resilience during an epidemic that was for years openly ignored by the government as it took so many lives. Couldn’t be more fitting for the Parkland kids to be singing something from it’

Herzfeld told the crowd that receiving the award was one of the most significant moments of her life.

‘Next to the passing of my dear parents and in-laws, marrying the love of my life and the birth of my amazing sons and reuniting with my theater students, there has never been a more defining moment of my life,’ she said.

‘All the goodness and tragedy that has brought me to this point will never be erased.

‘I remember on Feb. 7, in a circle with my students, encouraging them to be good to each other. 

‘And I remember only a week later, on Feb. 14, a perfect day, where all these lessons in my life and in their short lives would be called into action.

Melody Herzfeld, the one-woman drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was cheered by the crowd at Radio City Music Hall

Melody Herzfeld, the one-woman drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was cheered by the crowd at Radio City Music Hall

Herzfeld saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet on Valentine's Day when police say a former student went on a school rampage, killing 17 people

Herzfeld saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet on Valentine's Day when police say a former student went on a school rampage, killing 17 people

Herzfeld saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet on Valentine’s Day when police say a former student went on a school rampage, killing 17 people

‘We all have a common energy. We all want the same thing. To be heard. To tell our truth. To make a difference. 

‘And to be respected. We teach this every day in every arts class.’

Herzfeld will receive $10,000 for her theater program. 

Members of Herzfeld’s drama department then took the stage to sing Seasons of Love from RENT.

The performance was a moving one to viewers, who took to Twitter to express their emotions.

One viewer tweeted: ‘THE PARKLAND KIDS ARE SINGING SEASONS OF LOVE AND WE ARE ALL SOBBING.’

Another tweeted: ‘Rent is a musical about resilience during an epidemic that was for years openly ignored by the government as it took so many lives. Couldn’t be more fitting for the Parkland kids to be singing something from it.’

‘Weeping as the kids from Parkland high perform at the Tony Awards,’ another tweeted.

‘This Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Theatre Education stuff is too much for me, y’all,’ another Twitter user wrote.

‘I’ll just be in my corner quietly sobbing.’

Debra Messing, the Will & Grace star, tweeted: ‘Omg the Parkland Drama club just performed “Seasons of Love” on the #Tonys and I am all mucus.

‘That was so powerful. Thank you #Emmys for including these extraordinary kids in the evening’s. Elie ration.’

Zack Ford tweeted: ‘OMG the drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS are at the #TonyAwards singing Seasons of Love and I’m bawling.’  



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