Mara’s Student Programs

S.T.A.R. — Student Theatre, Television And Radio…

A tool for teaching students how to create their own Media Drama…

S.T.A.R. is about…

life skills and team work… self-expression and communication… structure and originality… creativity and discipline…

S.T.A.R. is for…

writers and actors… producers and directors… English and Communications majors… and for all students who want to discover their own creativity…

S.T.A.R. offers curricula at both the high school and the college levels, for a full semester or independent study program, and takes participants through each step of creating their own drama for television or for radio. A cross-curricular program, students become a production team, learning all creative and technical aspects of production. Storylines are original creations of the students, but must be based on reality and have a foundation of solid research. Students receive specific guidelines, classroom instruction, and detailed homework assignments in a range of topics including how to research their topics, how to structure stories, how to create characters and dialogue, how to perform on-mike or on-camera, how to create sound effects, how to edit, and how to blend performances into a final mix. Students must also work within the class – or collaborate with students from other departments – to create music, art work, press releases, and every other aspect of a complete production.

Our professional creative team comes to you! To find out more, click Creative Team, or e-mail us at

Click here to download the STAR Catalogue of Shows (PDF 2MB)

S.T.A.R. Script Writing

Script writing is a component of all S.T.A.R. classes. However, most classes proceed to production and therefore on one specific form.

The exciting new script writing curriculum class is being offered this semester for the first time at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

From January through May, students are spending about one month each on four key formats of dramatic writing – theatre, radio, television, and film.

With new scenes due on a weekly basis, this is a very demanding course, which instructs Drama majors, English majors, and Communications majors in format, character development, plot structure and dialogue.

Students study existing texts from all four media, and also write for all four formats. Some writing is done independently (Theatre and Film), and some is done in team-writing projects (Soaps and Sitcoms). The final project for the class is to write a full-length script in whichever form the individual students chooses.

To find out more about the class, read the Syllabus.[link]

To prepare for the class or deepen your understanding, read the Reading List. [link]

To find out more about the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (CU Springs), visit their web site[link]

Original scenes written by members of the class will be performed in end-of-semester workshop showcases in which acting and directing students will also participate. Check our calendar or the UCCS web site if you’re interested in attending!

This class will next be offered during the UCCS Winterim break in December 2002-Jaunary 2002.

S.T.A.R. Radio Drama

There is nothing like Radio Drama, the original THEATRE OF THE MIND.

Though it’s a time-honored form of entertainment, why would we bother with it today?Because with it, we re-ignite our imaginations. When we remove ourselves for a few hours from the visual stimulations of television, internet and video game, where are we? Perhaps we feel bereft, as though we’d been abandoned in a dark cave. If, out of the darkness, a voice began to tell us a story, would we not illuminate our own mental pictures?

Radio drama is pure magic. Through audio books, listeners are rediscovering the joy of being read to. Radio drama takes our audio senses several steps further, with the rich voices of actors, the vibrancy music, and the ingenuity of sound effects.

Can students really create their own dramas? They can. They have. They do.

What we create is New Time Radio – done in the style of Old Time Radio, but with all the advantages modern technologies afford.

Whether you’re a student or a teacher, a drama pro or an audience member – come with us now into the rich universe of Student Radio Drama, where students process the most challenging issues of the day, with humor, insight, compassion, wit, and extraordinary originality.

Explore Mara Purl’s original BBC radio drama, Milford-Haven, U.S.A.

S.T.A.R. Participating High Schools
(click the name of a school to view projects and pictures)

A.S.I.J. – American School in Japan

Charlottesville High School

Chatsworth High School

Florence Crittenton High School

Fountain Valley School

Fountain Ft. Carson High School

LACHSA (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts)

North Hollywood High School

San Pedro High School

Participating Colleges & Universities

The Colorado College

The University of Alaska – Summer Fine Arts Camp

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs