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Marjory Stoneman Douglas students give powerful surprise performance at Tonys

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama students perform onstage during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City. | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama department received a standing ovation at Sunday’s Tony Awards.

The crowd was full of emotion after the rousing rendition of “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent” by the students from the Parkland, Fla., high school as a surprise to drama teacher Melody Herzfeld, who protected her students during the school shooting in February.


Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher to get special Tony Award

After an introduction from “Glee” star Matthew Morrison, the students took the stage to honor Herzfeld’s win for the excellence in theater education prize during the awards, singing the familiar refrain from the popular musical number.

“Our Broadway family wants to give and say thanks to you, by sharing the stage with you and your classmates,” Morrison said.

One user tweeted: “I don’t know how to process this but I know I’m tearing up.

Another user was also brought to tears, tweeting: “I’ll just be in my corner quietly sobbing.”

Yet another fan commented that “Rent” “is a musical about resilience … Couldn’t be more fitting for the Parkland kids to be singing something from it.”

The performance comes just one week after the Stoneman Douglas graduation ceremony, where graduating seniors honored four of their slain classmates.

The special performance was one of a few moments during the awards show that left audience members teary eyed, from Nathan Lane’s speech to Andrew Garfield’s call to action.

Anika Reed, USA TODAY