Students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School surprised Tony viewers everywhere Sunday night with a performance of “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent.
The students were introduced by theatre and television star Matthew Morrison, who had performed with some of the students in a Parkland benefit concert. One of the students, Tanzil Philip, had asked to appear on the Tonys to thank the Broadway community for “[bringing] some much-needed light in the dark.”
Instead, Morrison said, they invited the students to share the stage with them that night.
The students sang “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, which shows in devastating detail the effect of the AIDS crisis. The parallel was not lost on viewers: many people had felt abandoned and unprotected as President Reagan did nothing about the AIDS crisis in the early '80s. Many today feel the same as politicians continue to stall and deny progress on gun control reform.
Earlier during the Tony Awards, Melody Herzfeld, a drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and survivor of the Parkland shooting, was honored with the Excellence in Theatre Education Award. During the Parkland massacre, Herzfeld sheltered her students in a small office to protect them.
Check out the MD students' performance below.