The 2018 Tony Awards gave us plenty of memorable moments, but we think one performance in particular will stay with viewers for years to come. Drama students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida gave a surprise performance on Sunday, June 10th, and it was incredibly powerful.
The students sang “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent — a song about resilience in the face of tragedy. The performance was in honor of their theater teacher, Melody Herzfeld, who helped save dozens of students during the shooting at the Parkland school. Herzfeld barricaded 65 students inside a closet in her classroom during the attack.
Herzfeld received the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award, which is an annual award given to a teacher who “demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession.” The award also includes a $10,000 prize for the school’s theater program.
After the show, Herzfeld spoke to NPR about the award. “It means more than anything,” she said. “To our community, it’s a sense of hope, it’s a sense of happiness, and pride and joy to recognize that these people here that live here, and these students that go to this school, they’re not just given everything. They work really hard for what they have, and to be recognized by such a special organization that doesn’t just give stuff away, it’s very meaningful to the whole community here.”
After her speech, students filled the stage to sing “Seasons of Love.”
And so many viewers took to social media to share their love and admiration both during and after the performance.
Others commended the Tonys for making it all possible.
This was an iconic moment, and we won’t forget it any time soon.