A few years ago Mason Kroll went with his family to see a touring production of “A Chorus Line.” On the way home, Kroll recalled, “My dad turns to me and says, ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a musical when he was in college. What are you doing?’ I didn’t take him seriously at all.”
Today, the Salutatorian of Milken Community High School’s class of 2010 has more than a few good answers to that question. He competed on his school’s cross-country and track teams. He was an editor of the news section of The Roar, Milken’s student newspaper. And in May, shortly after returning from the March of the Living trip to Poland and Israel, Kroll took five AP exams.
That’s not all the Encino native has been up to. For the past two years, Kroll has co-chaired a student service-learning group working to raise awareness at Milken and in Los Angeles about the Abayudaya community of Jews in Uganda. To complement the advocacy campaign, Kroll led the group’s fund-raising effort, selling coffee drinks and root beer floats to fellow students. “As they’re buying,” Kroll explained, “we’d try to talk to them about Abayudaya.” A few PowerPoint presentations and hundreds of Ice Blendeds later, Kroll said, “Abayudaya is now a household name on campus.”
Before he leaves Milken for Yale University this fall (“I’m very excited for my first snowball fight”), Kroll has one more project to see through: Five actors from his class were to perform in a workshop of Kroll’s original musical, “Samson and Delilah,” on June 2.
“I’m always one for resolved, complete endings,” Kroll said of the Samson story, as told in the book of Judges, “and I felt that there were so many loose ends to the story. You don’t know what happens to his parents, you don’t know what happens to Delilah. And you don’t really know the whys of the story; you just know the ‘whats.’ ”
What started with “messing around on the piano” four years ago has grown into 13 songs.
Kroll, the perennial doer, is looking forward to taking a different position when his show goes up on the Milken stage. “My dream role would be front row,” he said. “Audience member. I’d like to just watch it.”