SOURCE: Alter Ego Productions

September 19, 2006 08:30 ET

Alter Ego Productions Brings to the Stage, the World Premiere of David Freeman's "A First Class Man" -- The Astounding True Story of Ramanujan, the Brilliant Indian Mathematician and the Cross

Cultural Conflict of Faith Vs. Reason

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 19, 2006 -- Alter Ego's current production -- David Freeman's "A First Class Man" -- is the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a shipping clerk living in India in the 1910s who possesses an innate genius and a full time passion for producing complex mathematical theorems and equations but who has no formal training. Is he a fraud? Not according to the eminent British mathematician and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, G.H.Hardy, who recognizes Ramanujan's talent and invites him to come to Cambridge. "A First Class Man" explores the complex relationship between Hardy's precise world of mathematics and scientific orthodoxy that clashes with Ramanujan's more intuitive and spiritual relationship with numbers. Is this as simple as the conflict between faith and reason or Eastern mysticism and Western rationality? This cross-cultural conversation is conveyed through Ramanujan's journey from the colony to the seat of imperial power and interaction with a culture defined by the sequestered and exclusive club of English academia.

Alter Ego is thrilled to be presenting this world premiere production by acclaimed novelist, essayist, and playwright David Freeman, known for his critically acclaimed and widely produced play "Jessie and the Bandit Queen." Director Kareem Fahmy is a graduate of Columbia University's prestigious MFA program in Theatre Directing. His recent work includes Michael Ondaatje's "The Collected Works of Billy the Kid" and Judith Thompson's "Lion in the Streets" at the Abingdon Theatre. "A First Class Man" features a deeply talented cast of ten, led by Amir Arison who recently appeared in Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre production of "Love's Labor's Lost" directed by Michael Kahn.

Previously, Alter Ego produced "Who's Afraid of Vijay Tendulkar?," "Fatwa," "Indian Ink," "Chaos Theory," and "Hayavadana." Our most successful production to date -- the New York premiere of Tom Stoppard's "Indian Ink" -- ran at the Soho Repertory Theater from August 16, 2003 through September 7, 2003. It was a critical and popular success prompting us to extend it to a short Off-Broadway run and TheaterMania to list it under the 2003's category for "Shows You Should Have Seen But Probably Didn't."

Alter Ego Productions brings together people from many different professional backgrounds sharing a common passion for theater. The company was founded in April 2002 by a group of individuals whose professional focus is not theater but who have a strong interest in theater and significant past experience in directing, acting and design.

"A First Class Man" opens October 5th at The 45th Street Theater, 354 W. 45th St., with performances until October 21st.

Performances: October 5 to 21: Wednesday through Saturday at 8 pm (except Fri Oct 6 at 7 pm); Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm

Tickets: www.smarttix.com; (212) 868-4444.

For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Alter Ego's press representative Shourin Roy at sr240@columbia.edu or call 646-662-6057. Photos available upon request. To download our press kit, please visit our website or contact Shourin Roy.

www.alteregoproductions.org

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