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The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High drama club lived every theater kid’s dream at the Tonys

The theater kids of Parkland performed Rent’s “Seasons of Love” at the 2018 Tonys.

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Sunday night’s Tony awards celebrated the best of Broadway, and they also gave a group of children from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High the chance to live out every theater kid’s dream: perform Rent’s “Seasons of Love” in front of the most famous actors on Broadway.

Every year, the Tonys offer a special award to a theater educator from anywhere in the country. This year’s award went to Stoneman Douglas High’s Melody Herzfeld, who hid with more than 60 of her students in her drama classroom during this year’s Parkland school shooting. Herzfeld said that since the school shooting, she’s found that her students have relied on arts and music to help them handle the trauma.

“Every piece of beautiful theater is truth,” Herzfeld said in an interview with NPR, “and I think that when a child or a student that is 14 to 18 years old is given permission to tell their truth, they’ll sing it from the top of the car and they’ll sing it from the top of the roof.”

In celebration of Herzfeld’s win, her students took to the stage at the Tony Awards to perform theater kid anthem “Seasons of Love.” In addition to the official video of their performance, the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg captured some of it from inside the theater.

It’s a song that was built to make you feel every single feeling, and watching it get belted out by the Parkland kids — who have survived so much and gone on to use their voices so well — added new, transcendent layers.