“Song of Parkland” sheds light on importance of arts


MSD Drama students practice performing for the show “Yo Vikings!” in spring of 2018.

Samantha Goldblum

MSD Drama students practice performing for the show “Yo Vikings!” in spring of 2018.

“Song of Parkland,” is shining a spotlight on those recovering from a tragedy and inspiring the nation by showing how a group of young people can come out strong from a tragedy. This moving documentary includes original songs written by the students about their experience, as well as clips from demonstrations and protests around the United States, such as at the March for Our Lives.

“Song of Parkland,” a documentary directed and produced by Emmy-winner Amy Schatz, premiered on Thursday Feb. 7, 2019. Coming a year after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting, the documentary focuses on MSD drama teacher Melody Herzfeld and the 72 students in her theater department.

At the time of the tragedy, rehearsals were going on for the student’s musical “Yo, Viking!”

“We were having like the most amazing day, we were in the middle of rehearsal in the middle of a scene,” Melody Herzfeld said in the documentary.

In moments, everything changed for the students. They suddenly had a platform with social media and television on which to speak and voice their opinions, thus inspiring millions nationwide. The portrayal of the perseverance throughout the MSD drama department brings the strength of the school as a whole to light.  

The drama departmenthad a hard decision to make as whether or not “the show would go on” after Feb. 14. Ultimately, they decided that not only for themselves but for the community they needed to show that they could rise up.

The cast came together and persevered which lead to a moving performance at the Tony Awards.The students funneled their passion and grief into a positive outcome, helping them to heal while also bringing joy to their community.