Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students Sing ‘Seasons of Love’ in Emotional Performance at Tony Awards

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — Standing onstage at the Tony Awards, the drama students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sang of love and loss in a stirring performance of “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent.”

The students sang on a solemn, dark stage with lights centered on them, after which they received a standing ovation.

Their drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, was honored with a Tony Award for excellence in theater education from the Tonys and Carnegie Mellon University at the Sunday ceremony.

She and 65 of her students hid for two hours in her office when a mass shooter went on a rampage on February 14 the high school in Parkland, Florida.

“I remember on February 7th, sharing a circle with my beloved students, and encouraging them to be good to each other when times were trying, and to keep the family together,” she said in her acceptance speech.

“I remember only a week later, on February 14th, a perfect day, where all these lessons in my life and in their short lives would be called upon to set into action … We all have a common energy. We all want the same thing. We cannot deny it: To be heard, to tell our truth, to make a difference and to be loyally respected. We teach this every day in every arts class,” she said.

A week after the February massacre in which 17 students and faculty members died, Herzfeld directed her students in a performance of an original song called “Shine” during a CNN town hall. The song, written by two Parkland students, was part anthem, part rallying cry, expressing their pain in the wake of one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.

A video of the song “Shine” was released last month, with proceeds from the downloads and views of it doing to Shine MSD, a nonprofit created by Stoneman Douglas families to support programs that provide healing through the arts. “Shine” was also performed live at the March for Our Lives in Washington in March.

“You’re not gonna knock us down. We’ll get back up again. You may have hurt us. But I promise we’ll be stronger,” a lyric from the song goes.

Herzfeld has been directing the drama department at Stoneman Douglas since 2003, overseeing more than 50 productions, according to Carnegie Mellon. She received a $10,000 prize with the award.

She ended her speech with thanks to her high school and the words: “MSD strong.”

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Book of a Musical

“The Band’s Visit *WINNER

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

“Angels in America”

“The Band’s Visit” *WINNER

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America” *WINNER

Tom Hollander, “Travesties”

Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and The King”

Denzel Washington, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Glenda Jackson, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women” *WINNER

Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”

Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”

Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”

Joshua Henry, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit” *WINNER

Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”

Hailey Kilgore, “Once On This Island”

LaChanze, Summer: “The Donna Summer Musical”

Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit” *WINNER

Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”

Jessie Mueller, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”

Nathan Lane, “Angels in America” *WINNER

David Morse, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Susan Brown, “Angels in America”

Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Deborah Findlay, “The Children”

Denise Gough, “Angels in America”

Laurie Metcalf, Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women” *WINNER

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”

Alexander Gemignani, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”

Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit” *WINNER

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Renée Fleming, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Lindsay Mendez, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel” *WINNER

Ashley Park, “Mean Girls Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady”

Best Direction of a Play

Angels in America

Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women

Travesties

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two *WINNER

Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Direction of a Musical

Once On This Island

The Band’s Visit *WINNER

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Mean Girls

My Fair Lady

Best Play

“The Children”

“Farinelli and The King”

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two” *WINNER

“Junk”

“Latin History for Morons”

Best Revival of a Play

“Angels in America” *WINNER

Edward Albee’s, “Three Tall Women”

Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

“Lobby Hero”

“Travesties”

Best Musical

“The Band’s Visit” *WINNER

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

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