On July 18, 1989, Danna Schaeffer received the worst news a parent can hear: a phone call from a stranger telling her that her only child has been murdered.
Benson, Danna and Rebecca Schaeffer were a tight-knit family whose last words to each other the evening of July 17th were “I love you.” Rebecca, at age 21 a working actor in Hollywood, was slated to audition for Godfather Three and on the morning of July 18 1989, expecting a courier with the script, she answered her door bell and went to the front door of her Los Angeles apartment house. A stranger stepped from the bushes and shot her point-blank in the heart. She died 30 minutes later.
Benson and Danna lived through the trial of the murderer, an obsessed fan who had paid a private investigator to find Rebecca's home address in Los Angeles through the DMV, and then stalked Rebecca for months. After her murder, privacy laws were tightened and stalking laws were enacted. Hollywood would never be the same: “threat management” became a byword for performers.
You in Midair is an intimate, harrowing, and ultimately joyful story that examines the searing pain of loss, the consolation of memory, and the triumph of hard-won wisdom. Danna Schaeffer is a teacher, therapist, lobbyist, and writer and with this first foray onto the stage can now count herself as an actress. She takes us from horror to hilarity with remarkable stage presence. As Shawn Levy, author of Dolce Vita Confidential says, “You in Midair combines horror, pathos and comedy in ways you've never seen before. You will laugh and you will cry, often at the same time.” You in Midair is a spellbinding show. It is not to be missed.
Rebecca was born in Eugene, Oregon and grew up in Portland where she went to Lincoln High School and was elected president of her youth group at Temple Beth Israel. She modeled in New York the summer after the 11th grade and began getting acting jobs. She landed a co-starring role in the ensemble sitcom My Sister Sam and moved to Los Angeles where the show enjoyed a two-year run. Rebecca's career took her into movies like Radio Days and Scenes from the Class Struggle of Beverly Hills. A murderer ended her life on July 18, 1989.