Teens making short film

Pictured from left are Shane Taylor, Felicity Klein, Megan Rodgers, and Alex Grandstaff, as they read from a script Wednesday in The Times-Gazette Media Room. Emily Miller, not pictured, was filming their readings.

Local teens who are a part of the Hillsboro High School Thespian Troupe are working to make a short film based on the popular book series “The Hunger Games.”

According to HHS Thespian Troupe President Shane Taylor, “Even in the small town of Hillsboro, Ohio, teenagers can make something of themselves. They’re not just troublemakers. They have talent, and the world needs to see it.”

Taylor said he read “The Hunger Games” series by author Suzanne Collins when he was in middle school. Since then, he has “always wanted” to make a short film based on the books.

And now – with the help of two friends, Megan Rodgers and Emily Miller– that film is on the track to being realized. Taylor added that Rodgers and Miller plan to study film in college. He also said that Bob Lambert of the Highland County Convention and Visitors Bureau has also helped with the project.

When finished, the film will be uploaded to YouTube, Taylor added.

On Wednesday, auditions for the film were held in The Times-Gazette Media Room. Most of the teens present were a part of the HHS troupe, though the “Hunger Games”-based film is not “technically” through that group, Taylor said.

Taylor said there are about 20 people in the troupe, with four officers. He described the troupe as “a bunch of people who are just really into theater.”

He said history teacher Jarrod Weiss first introduced the school to the idea of a thespian troupe. Currently, the troupe leader is English teacher Kayla Wilson, Taylor added.

The troupe does several fundraisers each year. Taylor said they recently held a car wash at O’Reilly Auto Parts. On June 26, the troupe will host a bake sale at Walmart.

Taylor added that other fundraisers have included an Improv Night, a haunted house, and “flower-grams” for Valentine’s Day.

“Most of (the money raised) is going toward the state thespian conference,” Taylor said.

According to Taylor, during the conference “thespian troupes from all over the state meet … and there are classes for everything,” such as improv, light crew, and sound crew.

“You can meet a lot of new people and have a lot of fun,” Taylor said.

He added that some funds also go toward productions and outings.

Theater is “just our joy,” Taylor said.

To donate to the short film, visit www.gofundme.com/wq6akk.

Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.