Play Based On Ramanujan Exploring Love & Mathematics Opens In Chicago

Ramanujan Exploring
Siddhartha Rajan portrays mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (foreground), with Kareem Bandealy as Al.

A new production of ‘A Disappearing Number’, the exquisite 2007 play based on the true story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, by London-based theater company Complicate, will run Jan. 19 – April 9 at TimeLine Theatre in Chicago.

TimeLine’s production marks only the 4th time the play has been seen in the United States. The play has been the winner of the 2007 Critics’ Circle Theatre, Evening Standard, and Laurence Olivier awards for best new play.

The story is based on the true story of Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematician in rural India, who sent a letter filled with astonishing mathematical theorems in 1913 to famed mathematician G.H. Hardy.

Meanwhile in the present, a math professor and a businessman fall in love. As these two pairs wind their way through the course of their lives in different eras, they grapple with the beautiful mysteries of mathematics and the patterns found within the universe and themselves.

“We have been utterly entranced by this play since first reading it in 2010,” said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “While it wasn’t available for a new Chicago production at that time, our strong desire to do it at TimeLine has kept us persistently committed for more than six years,” he said.

Ramanujan Exploring3
The intertwined stories of famed mathematician G.H. Hardy (Dennis William Grimes, from top), math professor Ruth (Juliet Hart), a clerk from rural India named Srinivasa Ramanujan (Siddhartha Rajan) and businessman Al (Kareem).

“We couldn’t be more excited to finally bring this play to Chicago as part of TimeLine’ 20th Anniversary Season.”

TimeLine’s cast for the play includes Siddhartha Rajan (Ramanujan), Kareem Bandealy (Al Cooper), Anish Jethmalani (Aninda), Anu Bhatt (Surita), Arya Daire (Ramanujan’s mother), TimeLine Associate Artist Dennis William Grimes (Hardy), TimeLine Company Juliet Hart (Ruth), and Joseph Sultani (David/Ensemble), with musicians Ronnie Malley and Bob Garrett.

The production team for ‘A Disappearing Number’ includes Alka Nayyar (associate director), William Carlos Angulo (choreography), William Boles (scenic design) and Rachel Levy (lighting Design), among others.

The Chicago Tribune raved that the play “explodes with so much intellectual stimulus it makes you giddy, thrilled, intoxicated, ready to talk.”

Live music, choreographed movement and dazzling multimedia will all be part of TimeLine’s equation for exploring the mystery of love, mathematics, and the connections between the biggest and smallest elements of our universe.