"Song of Parkland" Chronicles Drama Students Journey to Healing Themselves and their Community in the Wake of Deadly Tragedy

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02 February 2019
Song of Parkland
Courtesy of HBO
"Song of Parkland"
Premieres Thursday, February 7 at 7 PM ET/PT on HBO
          When Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher Melody Herzfeld heard the fire alarm on Feb. 14, 2018, she was in rehearsals with her students for their annual children’s musical. Moments later, a Code Red sounded. Herzfeld rushed her 65 students into a storage closet while a shooter killed 17 teachers and students nearby.

Song of Parkland
Courtesy of HBO

          Filmed in the months following the shootings, when the Florida school community is grappling with the tragedy, Song of Parkland chronicles the dedication of teacher Melody Herzfeld and her theater students as they return to school and resolve to continue with their production. “This is the most important show you’re going to do, ever,” she tells them. “This is our begin-again. This is our start over.”
Song of Parkland
Courtesy of HBO

          Coming together in a process that would ultimately lead to a moving performance at the Tony Awards, the kids find a new sense of passion and purpose, forging a path to healing for themselves and their community. As student Alex Athanasiou says, “We want to bring happiness back to the school again. We want to bring happiness to everyone again. We want to shine a light.” As the drama class dives deep into rehearsals for the musical, Parkland students, including many in Herzfeld’s department, spark a nationwide movement to end gun violence. Song of Parkland captures the powerful voices of the young people who would inspire a nation.

          Directed and produced by Emmy®-winner Amy Schatz, this affecting short film includes original songs written by the students about their experience, as well as interviews and scenes from walk-outs and rallies across the country as other young people, galvanized by the Parkland activists, take to the streets to call for the creation of a safer world.

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