Art And Culture

Italian Actor Dies on Stage

Italian Actor Dies on StageItalian Actor Dies on Stage

Italian actor Raphael Schumacher has been declared clinically dead after he was choked in a stage hanging scene that went wrong.

The 27-year-old’s family authorized the donation of his organs, and the doctors have started the procedure, a spokesperson at Cisanello Hospital in Pisa, Central Italy, told CNN on Friday.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident and say they are trying to establish whether proper safety procedures were in place.

Schumacher was performing in an experimental theater production in the courtyard of Pisa’s Teatro Lux when a member of the audience noticed that the rope around his neck was too tight.

The actor’s head was covered at the time, but the spectator - a female medical graduate - saw him trembling and realized something was wrong. She ran to him, loosened the noose, and with the help of another spectator, lowered him to the ground. He was taken to hospital shortly after.

Questions about how he could have met such a tragic fate - and speculation over whether he meant to kill himself - have been raised in Italian media and English-language outlets.

“I strongly believe he did not try to commit suicide,” the actor’s mother said. “His father died recently but he had soon regained inner peace. He did not leave any messages and had no reason to kill himself”.

However, others pointed out that Schumacher had changed the original ending of his scene in the play ‘Mirages’.

Schumacher changed the play’s script at the last minute, the directors of the theater company said. “The original monologue included a fake gunshot but he eventually decided for the hanging - without telling us”.

Four people are under investigation for manslaughter in the actor’s death.