PISA, Italy, Feb. 5, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Italian actor Raphael Schumacher has been declared brain dead after being strangled in a stage hanging scene while performing in a play. He was 27.
The actor’s family authorized the donation of his organs, and the doctors have started the procedure, a spokesperson at Cisanello Hospital in Pisa told CNN on Friday.
Police are investigating what proper safety procedures were in place at the time of Schumacher’s death, and the Italian news agency ANSA is reporting four people are under investigation for manslaughter in the actor’s death.
CNN is reporting that 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, aided by another audience member, and lowered him to the stage. Emergency technicians were called and Schumacher was taken to the hospital.
According to the Italian newspaper, Il Giorno, the play’s producers said Schumacher changed the play’s script at the last minute stating, “The original monologue included a fake gunshot but he eventually decided for the hanging without telling us.”
The play’s scenes take place in different parts of the theater, with spectators walking through them. Schumacher was performing in the courtyard at the time of the incident.