Parkland Survivors Surprised Their Drama Teacher With a Super Emotional Surprise Performance at the Tony Awards

In case you're in need of a good cry (or you know, a session of sobbing uncontrollably), theater students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who were survivors of the shooting that killed 17 students and teachers in February earlier this year, gave a surprise performance at the Tony Awards last night to honor their drama teacher and the whole thing was beautiful.

Melody Herzfeld, the drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, where she has produced over 50 student-performed musicals, accepted the excellence in theater education award at last night's awards ceremony. Herzfeld was given the award, which includes a $10,000 donation to the school's theater department, for barricading and protecting 65 of her students in her classroom during the tragic shooting.

To recognize their teacher even further for her bravery, Herzfeld's students arranged to give a surprise performance in her honor after she accepted her award — and you may want to have some tissues handy, because, you know, watch at your own risk.

To make things even more beautiful, the students' song choice was "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent — which is about the resilience of a community of New Yorkers in the face of a different tragedy: the 1980s AIDs crisis. Tanzil Philip, one of the students who performed Sunday evening, reportedly organized the performance by reaching out to former Glee star Matthew Morrison after he performed at a Parkland benefit concert.

"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, accept everyone and make a difference," Herzfeld said in her acceptance speech. "And 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."

Caroline is the Evening/Weekend Editor and Style Editor at Her Campus, a senior public relations major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a leather jacket enthusiast.  You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @c_pirozzolo. 

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