Recently, 2007 MFA playwriting alum Merri Biechler taught at the New South Young Playwrights Festival in Atlanta. She participated in the 2008 WordBRIDGE Playwrights’ Lab at Clemson University this past June. Her play for Young Audiences “Dolley Madison and the Secret History Club”, which was commissioned by the White House Historical Association, received a workshop at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her play “Occupation” was a finalist in Perishable Theatre’s 14th Annual International Women’s Playwriting Festival. Her play “Bombs, Babes and Bingo” is currently a semi-finalist in the 2009 P73 Playwriting Fellowship. Biechler’s “Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver”, which was originally written while she was an MFA student, continues to gain momentum: in addition to the more than $35,000 the play has received in grant funding over the past two years, it continues to be performed and developed as a teaching tool for medical students and professionals. On October 17 it will be performed for the American Cancer Society Board of Trustees and for the Consortium of Geriatric Academic Programs. In part due to her efforts with this play and additional professional consulting for playwrights on similar projects, Biechler has become a leading expert on theater as a pedagogical tool for medical and social welfare issues.