The Costa Concordia shipwreck was a surreal drama from the beginning. The sinking cruise ship off the coast of the idyllic Italian island of Giglio was an unbelievable sight, and still is more than a year-and-a-half later as Italian sunbathers cover its shore with the looming shipwreck nearby. The disaster evoked images of the Titanic tragedy a hundred years earlier, scenes that were recreated and immortalized in the 1997 movie.
It seems fitting that the trial for the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is being held in an Italian theater in Grosseto. Schettino faces multiple charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship, after 32 people died.
A sign reading “the law is equal for all” acts as the title of the production, hanging prominently center stage over a tribunal of judges in dramatic lighting. The protagonist, Schettino, sits in the front row, while other key players occupy the audience seats. Even the name of the theater, Teatro Moderno, meaning modern theater, seems appropriate. The trial was moved from a traditional courtroom to a theater in order to accommodate for the huge interest in the case.
The trial is now on summer break after only two days of hearings. This was after its initial start date of July 9 was postponed for eight days due to a lawyers' strike. This seasonal intermission will last until Sept. 23, at which point the drama continues.