Parkland Kids Perform 'Seasons of Love' at Tonys and Leave Amy Schumer, Audience in Tears
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s drama department made a surprise appearance at the awards show Sunday night, bringing the star-studded audience to tears with an emotional rendition of ‘Seasons of Love’ from the classic musical Rent.
The kids took the stage at the famed Radio City Music Hall Sunday, where they delivered a moving performance from the Tony-winning musical. Amy Schumer and other celebrities were seen wiping away tears during the song.
The performance came after their drama teacher Melody Herzfeld received the coveted Excellence in Theatre Education Award, which is reserved for influential educators like herself.
The honor, which includes a $10,000 prize for her school’s theater program, comes from the Broadway League, the American Theatre Wing and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as other theater industry leaders.
“To be a teacher —who might’ve aspired to do something like this at one point in her life and found her true calling in producing and working with children, especially in high school — to have any significant light shed on that is really, deeply meaningful,” Herzfeld told TIME ahead of the Tony Awards.
Just months earlier, Herzfeld hid 60 of her students in the school’s drama room for over two hours as a former student opened fire in a nearby building. The shooting left 17 students and faculty members dead and more than a dozen others injured.
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As Herzfeld accepted the award Sunday, the Parkland community gathered together to watch the show.
“If we could just go back to February 13 and be the normal, everyday people that we were, we’d give it up in a heartbeat,” she told TIME. “There’s nothing that can replace what we had on that day.”