Survivors of the Parkland shooting got up on stage and sang “Seasons of Love” at the 2018 Tony Awards. The members of the drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Schools made a surprise appearance at the awards show on Sunday. They performed a heartbreaking rendition of “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, bringing the audience in the Radio City Music Hall to tears.
The emotional song is a dramatic moment in Rent, when the musical asks us how to truly quantify the value of a year in our lives, and the only answer is love. Four of the lead characters in the musical suffer from AIDS or HIV and the song is a heartfelt plea to love and support the LGBTQ community. Love is greater than hate.
The performance honored their drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, who received the Excellence in Theatre Education Award that evening. The award includes a $10,000 prize for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High’s theater program, donated by the theater industry including the Broadway League, American Theatre Wing, and Carnegie Mellon University.
On February 14, Herzfeld hid 60 of her students in the school’s drama room for over two hours during the shooting. The brutal attack by a former student, armed with guns, left 17 students and staff members dead and 17 more wounded. We can’t think of a more deserving school or a more inspiring teacher.
You can watch a snippet of their performance on The View.