Director, School of Theater
Merri Biechler is the director of the School of Theater, assistant professor of Instruction, playwright, actor, and educator. She’s the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and a Boomerang Fund for Artists award. Her plays include Tammy Faye’s Final Audition (Tantrum Theater, Dublin, OH; Centenary Stage Company; Cincinnati Fringe 2015 – Best of Fringe; Washington DC Capital Fringe 2015 – Best of Fringe); Occupation (Hollywood Fringe 2016 – Dozen Best; Seven Devils Playwrights Conference semifinalist; P73 Playwriting Fellowship semifinalist; Perishable Theatre’s International Women’s Playwriting Festival finalist); An Appalachian Christmas Carol (Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble world premiere; Woodford Theatre, KY); Real Girls Can’t Win (Centenary Stage Company Women Playwrights Series winner; Stavis Award nominee; David Mark Cohen Award finalist; Victory Gardens Theater workshop; and six college productions around the country); Bombs, Babes and Bingo (Mortar Theatre Company world premiere; New Orleans Fringe Festival; Artist’s Laboratory Theatre workshop; P73 Playwriting Fellowship semifinalist; Clubbed Thumb biennial commission finalist); Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver (Northern Light Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, world premiere; Princess Grace Award finalist; Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award winner; Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist; WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory participant, and the recipient of grants totaling $40,000 to use the play as a teaching tool for medical students); and Dolley Madison and the Secret History Club (Kennedy Center/White House Historical Association commission). Merri received her MFA in playwriting from Ohio University.
As an actor, Merri attended North Carolina School of the Arts and studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse and at his home on the island of Bequia, West Indies. She spent 18 months with the original Off-Broadway cast of Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding, appeared in the films He Said, She Said; The Thing Called Love; Claire in Motion; Trailerpark; and Pieces of April; and guest-starred on episodes of Judging Amy, E.R., and Murphy Brown. She appeared in Tantrum Theater’s production of The Cake.
Her new project, with co-creator Samuel Dodd, is The Healthy Village: Immersive Healthcare Theater. It uses fine arts techniques and methods to teach healthcare students to work in partnership with their patients.