Tony Awards: Parkland Shooting Survivors Deliver Emotional Performance of ‘Seasons of Love’
Students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas’ drama department perform a number from ‘Rent’ in a beautiful tribute to the power of strength, resilience, and the power of love.
How do you measure a year?
Well, at last year’s Tony Awards, Kevin Spacey was the host, making jokes about being in the closet. At this year’s Tony Awards, students from the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School drama department in Parkland, Florida, survivors of the school’s Valentine’s Day massacre, performed the emotional Rent classic “Seasons of Love,” to remember their slain classmates and also celebrate their strength, resilience, and hope for the future.
The segment began with actress Ming-Na Wen honoring Marjorie Stoneman Douglas drama department director Melody Herzfeld, who received a special Excellence in Theatre Education Award, which goes to a K-12 theatre education in recognition of their impact on the lives of their students and includes a $10,000 grant towards the school’s theatre program.
Herzfeld is a 15-year teaching veteran who has directed more than 50 productions. On the day of the Parkland shooting, she sheltered 65 of her students in a small office for two hours until help arrived and she could lead all of them to safety. Since the Valentine’s Day massacre she has encouraged her students to use theater and music to work through their feelings, trauma, and resilience.
“For your dedication to the arts and for your tremendous love for the young people in your care, we, all of us, thank you,” Wen said.
Actor Matthew Morrison then came out to recount a benefit concert that he and several other Broadway stars had performed at along with some of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas students. One of those students, Tanzil Philip, asked to appear on the telecast and give thanks in person to the Broadway community that “showed up in our time of need and brought some much needed light into the dark.”
THANK YOU KEVIN FOR THIS POST!