Nikki Muller and Jason Rosario are two Los Angeles-based actors who met while training at the Muay Thai America Gym in North Hollywood in 2015. After discovering their mutual love for theater and similar interests in spite of their widely different backgrounds, the two decided to create new, original performance art that would be equal parts physically and emotionally challenging. Weary of the commercialism that pervades the LA acting scene, the duo created a work based on their personal histories and passion for collaborative, physically engaged and thematically challenging art that would push the boundaries of artistic comfort and predictability. Their original play “Definition of Man” explores universal themes of identity, gender, race, vulnerability and the impossibility of communication. By speaking from their own situated experiences as the daughter of an East German refugee and son to Puerto Rican parents respectively, Muller and Rosario provide an intimate portrayal of the inner struggle to overcome one’s own assumptions and the sacrifices required to connect and find understanding with our fellow man. Teaming up with local director JJ Mayes, acclaimed aerialist/movement choreographer Tavi Stutz and seasoned composer Chris Thomas, they seek to create a theatrical experience that will move beyond words, encouraging audiences to reconsider the way they communicate, challenging them to move into an uncomfortable space of questioning that could allow real change and healing to occur once they’ve left the theater.
The show debuted in workshop form in the Broadwater Black Box in Los Angeles, CA the weekend of March 24-26 2017, and had its world premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in the same space, where it enjoyed an over-sold run, two sold out extensions through the Encore Producer's Award, as well as four nominations and two wins for Best in Dance & Physical Theatre as well as "Ripest Show" from Cherry Poppins. After a year of development, the show travelled to Scotland for a full run at 2018's Edinburgh Fringe, where they were met with great critical acclaim, and performed a sold out encore show in Duesseldorf afterwards. In 2019, Definition of Man was remounted in both Los Angeles and Traverse City, M.I., and received an Ovation nomination for Fight Direction. Currently the show is doing a limited run in North Hollywood before relocating to New York City.
For our touring rider, go here.