Raphael Schumacher has been declared brain dead after an accident on stage Saturday night at Pisa’s Teatro Lux. The actor was taking part in an experimental theater production when the accident happened. An onlooker soon realized something had gone wrong and ran to his aid to loosen the noose around his neck. Unfortunately he’d already been strangled and fellow cast mates and onlookers were not aware as his head was covered for the scene.
Raphael remained in a coma until Friday when he was declared clinically deceased. The 27 year old was an organ donor and procedures have already begun to harvest his organs for those in need. A difficult decision by the family but an admirable one – Raphael’s death will help other people get a continued chance at life.
Police are investigating the accident and four people are already under investigation for manslaughter. Raphael’s family and friends believe he would never have taken his own life. There are questions rising about the proper safety procedures and if they were accurately in place.
The scene originally ended with a fake gunshot wound, but Raphael changed it to a hanging instead – apparently without telling directors of the show, as reported in an Italian Newspaper.
During this specific play the actors are scattered in different places through the theater for different scenes, Raphael was in the courtyard during the scene where the accident occurred.
The Lux Theater has suspended all activities, including shows, of the theater for now and plan to offer refunds to those who purchased tickets and are asking for support during this time and the silence that’s set to follow.