DANNA SCHAEFFER (actor, playwright) grew up in New York and Los Angeles, where she married Benson in 1963. Rebecca was born in Eugene in 1967 and when she was 14 the family moved to Portland. At age 16, Rebecca struck out on her own for New York, where she soon landed acting jobs, starting with a role on a soap and ultimately a role on a sitcom which took her to Los Angeles.
Danna's first play, City Women, won a major award from the Kennedy Center in 1988. In 1989 Rebecca, by then a working actor in Hollywood, was murdered on her front step. Benson and Danna were shattered but survived. Danna went on to write more plays, teach playwriting, publish stories, articles, and reviews, produce two websites, write several novels and a memoir, and pursue a career in mental health.
You in Midair premiered last January at Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival.
Danna is grateful to her sensational you in midair creative team in Portland, Julie Akers, Tim Stapleton, Bobby Brewer-Wallin, Katelan Braymer, Phillip Johnson, Howie Bierbaum, Tere Mathern, and Colin Stewart.
JULIE AKERS (director) has been teaching acting, directing and theater history at the university level for the past twenty five years. She received an MFA in directing from University of British Columbia and has worked as a Professor at New Mexico State University, Willamette University, Lone Star College, and Portland State University.
In addition, she has been recognized for her work with young adults throughout her career. She has been nominated for an Emmy for the collaborative work she did with Teens and Company, in Portland, Oregon. She has organized and run summer-long theater camps for high school kids in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She has also worked with teens at risk in Austin, Texas, through the Creative Action Project. Her commitment to educational theater is absolute.
Some of her favorite directing experiences include: Importance of Being Earnest, Wit, The Bald Soprano, Lysistrata (the musical), The Glass Menagerie, and Spoon River Project.
KATELAN BRAYMER (lighting design) is a Lighting Designer and Technical Director for theatre, dance and opera, based out of Los Angeles, CA and Portland, OR. Recent Designs: Jocasta Project (Ghost Road), Kiss, The Hairy Ape (Odyssey Theatre), Free Outgoing (East West Players), Berlin Diary (Hand2Mouth Theatre), Sammanflata (intertwine), and El Payaso (Milagro). Touring: Inflatable Trio, Ruth Doesn't Live Here Anymore (Lionel Popkin), Surfacing (Holcombe Waller), Object Lesson (Geoffe Sobelle), Half Life (Cloud Eye Control), and Stardust (David Rousseve). She has also worked at Jacobs Pillow, Kirk Douglas Theatre, 59E59, MCA Chicago, On the Boards, SFMoMA, Krannert Center, Bootleg Theater, and Artists Repertory Theater. Katelan is the Director of Production and Lighting for the upcoming Live Arts Exchange Festival (LAX). Katelan has been a Lighting Assistant at the LA Opera since 2011 and is an associate artist of Hand2Mouth Theatre.
PHIL JOHNSON (sound design) is a painter and theatrical artist based in Portland Oregon. His recent productions include An Octoroon (Artist Repertory Theater) Hands Up (Red Door Project), Elliot a Soldiers Fugue and The Antigone Project (Profile Theater), Worse Than Tigers (ACT Theater/Red Stage), Contigo Pan y Cebolla (Milagro Theater), All My Sons and The Importance of Being Earnest (Valley Repertory Theater). When he isn't designing or teaching Phil is traveling the world spreading art education to impoverished areas. He most recently taught theater in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Phil Has a B.F.A. and M.A. from Ohio University. For updates, artwork, digital downloads, and links to show soundtracks please visit PhilJohnsondesignstheworld.com