It was an eventful night at the Tony Awards last night, and I suspect that we will talk more about that later today, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t get this up ASAP because it is magic.
First of all, Melody Herzfeld — the Drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla — received a Tony Award for sheltering and ultimately saving 65 of her students from a shooting rampage. Here is her remarkable acceptance speech:
“I remember on Feb. 7, in a circle with my students, encouraging them to be good to each other. And I remember only a week later, on Feb. 14, a perfect day, where all these lessons in my life and in their short lives would be called into action.”
It was not, however, the only appearance by Parkland, because its drama students were also featured, singing “Seasons of Love” from Rent. It was an emotionally walloping performance that deservedly received a standing ovation.
Rent is a musical about resilience during an epidemic that was for years openly ignored by the government as it took so many lives. Couldn't be more fitting for the Parkland kids to be singing something from it. #TonyAwards— Brilly Wonka (@LitaTweeted) June 11, 2018
"Seasons of Love" is the song that asks how one quantifies the value of a year in a human life. It's long acted as the heartfelt response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the '80s/'90s.— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) June 11, 2018
Today, it's also the response to another epidemic: School shootings. https://t.co/o6p2PdlqCx
oh man, the parkland students singing RENT on stage. THE PARKLAND STUDENTS SINGING RENT ON STAGE.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 11, 2018