'Song of Parkland' Spotlights the Power of the Arts to Heal After 2018 Shooting

Christina Gables
HBO

The first sign that something awful was happening is when Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher Melody Herzfeld heard the fire alarm on February 14, 2018. She was rehearsing with her class for their annual children’s musical as a former student with a semi-automatic weapon entered the grounds in Parkland, Florida. For more than an hour, the school was at the mercy of a gunman on the loose.

Herzfeld rushed her 65 students into a storage closet while the shooter killed 17 teachers and students and wounded 17 others. Upon returning to school following the tragedy, the drama students felt compelled to continue their production. “This is the most important show you’re going to do, ever,” Herzfeld told them. “This is our begin-again. This is our start over.”

Courtesy of HBO

Thoughts and prayers were not enough for them. Song of Parkland, a new documentary coming to HBO on February 7, follows the students who experienced unimaginable losses, as they find a new sense of passion and purpose, making a path to healing for themselves and their community which ultimately became a moving performance at the Tony Awards.

Song of Parkland captures the powerful voices of the students turned activists who would lead a nationwide #NeverAgain movement to end gun violence.

Courtesy of HBO

This affecting documentary, produced by Emmy-winner Amy Schatz, includes original songs written by the students about their trauma, as well as interviews and scenes from walk-outs and rallies as other teens inspired by the movement call upon legislators to enact gun-control laws in a March for Our Lives.

Song of Parkland, Premieres, Thursday, February 7, 7/6c, HBO