The 72nd annual Tony Awards included a moving tribute to the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
After teacher Melody Herzfeld received a special Tony Award for theater education, a group of students performed an unforgettable rendition of "Seasons of Love" from Rent.
Viewers at home were in tears during the performance.
"The parkland drama department just sang 'seasons of love' at the [Tony Awards] and if that didn’t make you cry then i don’t know if you have a heart," one viewer wrote.
the parkland drama department just sang “seasons of love” at the #TonyAwards and if that didn’t make you cry then i don’t know if you have a heart— logan☀️ (@llogandupuy) June 11, 2018
"IF THE PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA DEPARTMENT SINGING SEASONS OF LOVE DIDNT MAKE YOU LOVE THEATRE THEN [I don't know] WHAT WILL," added another.
"Just lost it when the teacher from Parkland whooped and hollered for her students singing at the [Tony Awards]. Leadership," another viewer wrote.
Just lost it when the teacher from Parkland whooped and hollered for her students singing at the #TonyAwards. Leadership.— AnnieSchiffmann 🎭📲 (@annieschiff) June 11, 2018
"I'm still moved by the Parkland High School students. Kids that was AMAZING! [Tony Awards] [This Is Broadway] [Parkland Strong]," another viewer wrote.
Before the performance, Herzfeld gave an emotional speech. She saved the lives of more than 60 students during the shooting on Feb. 14, when a gunman opened fire and killed 17 people.
“Next to the passing of my dear parents and in-laws, marrying the love of my life and the birth of my amazing sons and reuniting with my theater students, there has never been a more defining moment of my life,” Herzfeld said, reports the New York Times. "All the goodness and tragedy that has brought me to this point will never be erased."
"We all have a common energy. We all want the same thing," she later said. "To be heard. To tell our truth. To make a difference. And to be respected. We teach this every day in every arts class."
The special award also includes a $10,000 prize to the Stoneman Douglas theater program.0comments
Herzfeld has staged over 50 shows at Stoneman Douglas since 2003. Her students also wrote an original song, "Shine," which they performed at a CNN town hall a week after the shooting.
Photo credit: CBS