My Role in Elizabeth Gunness

Film, Performance

From 2002-2004 I worked as an actor at the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina. At that time, they had a company of young actors called “journeymen” who were paid  a monthly stipend to audition for and play a variety of roles throughout the season, crew shows, and teach week-long Shakespeare residencies in the public school system. Great idea… now defunct for a number of years due to changing administration.

It was a valuable transition for me between an undergraduate education in Art and my later graduate studies in Acting. Just before I left for the PTTP at the University of Delaware in 2004, I acted in an independent film shot in and around Greenville entitled Elizabeth Gunness.

Below is a reel of some of my scenes from the film. I was a somewhat “slow” handyman named Stan who eventually is done in by the protagonist.

My Mural Paintings.

Artwork, Mural Painting


Like most young actors, when I first started out I had to augment the pittance I was making with work on the side.

From 2001-2003, I was an actor in a young company at The Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina under John Woodson and Monica Bell. I also acted and designed with the Upstate Shakespeare Festival and The Distracted Globe w/ the terrific Jayce & Anne Tromsness.

Much Ado

As Benedick in the UpSF production of Much Ado About Nothing. I also designed the outdoor stage.

It was a really exciting two years where I matured as an actor and was prepared for graduate school at the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware, which I began in 2003.

Off-topic a bit, but a chance to brag, since I just found these reviews again from my two seasons at the Warehouse:


“John Knauss turns in a showstopping performance as the dastardly, brilliant servant, Truffaldino… Knauss explodes onstage with perfect comic timing.” (Ann Hicks, The Greenville News)

“John Knauss… is a marvelous physical actor… No matter what risks he takes, and he takes many, he never goes over the edge. His is a rare talent.” (Bill Bruehl, The Greenville News)

“John Knauss leads the troupe… he handles the verbal and physical demands of the role with ease while also refreshingly managing to inject a note of pathos into his final, reflective moment on stage.” (Neil Shurley, Metrobeat)

“John Knauss plays the quiet Antoine, and he plays him beautifully. I wonder if this isn’t the hardest of all the characters to portray because he is the most simple.” (Daneen Schatzle, Metrobeat)


During my time in SC, I taught as a substitute in the public school system, worked at the Fine Arts Centre under Roy Fluhrer, and helped develop a week-long Shakespeare residency in the county school systems which continued for some time.

Beyond this, I also started doing faux painting and mural artwork, which was both fun and fairly lucrative, though the work was sporadic.

faux dining room

I would typically do faux painting of new dining rooms; two to three simple textures on top of a previously painted base coat.

Later, in 2007, upon graduation from the PTTP, I raised funds and spent a month in Hangzhou, China leading a public mural project at a state orphanage.

Here is a portfolio of some of my mural paintings.