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Karen Knox is an actor, writer, and director based in Toronto, a city which she regularly makes fun of in private but would defend to the death to in an international context. Karen studied acting in the U.K at L.A.M.D.A where she was asked to leave the program after “destroying” (her words) a member of the Royal Shakespeare company in a debate on female representation in Shakespeare. She refused to leave and graduated with an (ultimately useless) Master’s degree in classical acting. Karen plays “Veronica Vale” in the critically acclaimed award winning series BARBELLE – for which she has also received several nominations for best actor (T.O Webfest, Pilot Light TV Festival). She has made that hot cash money working as an actor and writer for the following companies: Shaftesbury, Smokebomb, CBC, Ubisoft, Mad Ruk, and Muse Entertainment. Further evidence of her qualifications as a professional you might want to work with can be found on her IMDB account accompanied by several photos verifying that she is a “good dresser.” (not corroborated by wikipedia).

As a director Karen’s film, The Case of the Massey Bodice Ripping, premiered at the Cannes Intentional Film Festival’s Short film Corner. The film is currently playing at festivals around the world. She continues to develop a body of work that subverts traditional narratives – through the female gaze – with an aesthetic that draws from French impressionism and Gucci adds. Karen loves Peter Greenaway and likes to believe that if he were a 27 year old woman living in Toronto – he would be making films that are similar to the ones she is currently making. Peter would disagree as he does not currently know who Karen is. Her production company, Boss & Co has produced work that has screened around the world at film festivals including Cannes, OutFest LA, TO Webfest, The Pilot Light Festival, and Stareable Festival NYC.  Boss & Co is currently in pre production for a second season of BARBELLE, as well as a pilot for a new series, and two short films – all of which Karen is either performing in, writing on, or directing. But not all three at once, because that would be horrible. 

  While she currently has irreconcilable differences with the medium of traditional theatre, she has in past performed across Canada, as well as in London’s West End. Selected theatre credits include: Stupid Fucking Bird (Vinetta Stromberg/Pop Up Theatre), The world premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s A Woman is a Secret (Andrew Shaver/Theatre Centre), Venus in Fur (Sam Gibbs/Tristian Bates Theatre U.K), The Things We Do For Love (Laurie Stevens/Odyssey Theatre)  for which she received a Rideau Award Nomination for Best Actress, and Taming of the Shrew (Tyrone Savage/The Storefront Theatre).  In 2012 she co wrote and directed the critically acclaimed The Loyalists for Single Thread, voted Toronto’s best immersive and site specific theatre company in NOW Magazine. In September of 2014 she directed Single Thread’s production of Much Ado About Nothing at Toronto’s historic Spadina House. 

HIGHLY CURATED BUT EXCELLENT REVIEWS OF KAREN’S WORK BELOW

 

Reviews

“Nina’s trajectory, from ingénue to sexual awakening to apparent madness, is made piercingly clear by Karen Knox. In this version she gets to tell her own back-story rather than having it recited by somebody else. Her scenes with Craig Lauzon’s Trigorin, a magnetic shrug of a man, are electric.”

Robert Cushman, The National Post, Stupid Fucking Bird

“Lauzon has the realest presence on stage – and his scenes with Knox’s magnetic Nina are golden”

J Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail, Stupid Fucking Bird

“Look for electric work by Knox here.”

Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine, Stupid Fucking Bird

Karen Knox is stunning as David Ive’s three faced demi goddess Vanda Jordan. Her range as an actress is truly remarkable. The initial comedy of the piece sings, and the shocking ending is both satisfying and heart stopping.

Winston Graves, The Chronicle Journal, Venus in Fur

Knox is remarkable as Dee. Despite a number of hilarious lines, her real strength is the portrayal of her character’s past emotional wounds and her take on relationships.

Chris Daponte, The Wellington Advisor, Stag & Doe

Knox, a leading lady in every sense of the term, is terrific as Dee. A killer wit paired with great wisdom and depth.

Constance Scrafield, The Orangeville Citizen, Stag & Doe

Karen Knox, who plays the lead character Finea, steals the show. She is phenomenal.

Jennifer Hartley, Ottawa Life Magazine, The Things We Do For Love

The audience is completely at the mercy of Knox and Sims and the electricity between them at times depletes the oxygen in the theatre, makes us catch our breath.

Linda Maehans, Thunder Bay Source, Venus In Fur

The highlight of the evening is the excellent Karen Knox as Finea, an exuberant young Hungarian aristocrat.

Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen, The Things We Do For Love

Because I feel that she deserves a paragraph of her own, I need to mention that actress Karen Knox stole the entire show in this last section. As Finea, aka Celio, Knox played the cross-dressing female protagonist, full of vigor and derring-do.

Joseph Hutt, APT 16, The Things We Do For Love

A standout turn by Knox, acknowledging her own amazing charm and eloquence

Caroline Maga, The Toronto Star, A Woman is A Secret

The female characters may be fantasies, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less fun to watch. Knox makes Shanley’s wisdom-spouting model a very funny creation.

J Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail, A Woman is A Secret

The highlight of the second half is a fascinating scene between an aging millionaire and Knox as a pragmatic Polish émigré.

Glenn Sumi, NOW magazine, A Woman is A Secret

Rising star Karen Knox is engaging as a forthright former model.

Steve Fisher, The Torontoist, A Woman is A Secret

“The other actors, in a variety of roles, are equally fine, with standout work by Karen Knox as a manipulative figure from the women’s past.”

John Caplan, NOW magazine, The Skriker.

Again, this is a team of the best actors, but I must mention that Karen Knox is particularly delightful as Pet. You can see the gleaming wheels of her mind turning behind every expression of glee, disappointment, or annoyance on her face.

Burke Campbell, Eccentric, Human Furniture

While all the actors have a lot of fun with their subverted roles and statuses, it’s Knox who truly shines. Knox is irrepressible throughout as a mischievous sprite, and although her role in the group appears to grant her the lowest status, she’s revealed to be the most honest, capable, and stress-free of them all.

Steve Fisher, The Torontoist, Human Furniture

Site-specific, promenade theatre like this sells itself on the illusion of agency and mobility – hey, you’re not sitting in a chair in a stuffy, old theatre! In actuality, more often than not, it requires more submission, as you are ordered around like servants not to be seen or heard. Kudos then to this Much Ado, directed by Karen Knox, for incorporating this into the overall vision.

J Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail, Much Ado About Nothing

Karen Knox is given the show’s most meaty role as Kate Thomas and she nails it. She’s the antagonist in that she keeps the play in conflict and her challenging delivery easily riles up the other characters. And her dramatic performance in the last half of the second act is really something to be seen.

Jermey Gardiner, Mooney on Theatre, Kate & Sam are Not Breaking Up

Knox’s Kate is sharp and edgy, her fuck-you attitude dissolving to show a genuine, savvy and severely confused young woman.

Kate McKim, Life with More Cowbell, Kate and Sam are Not breaking Up

Karen Knox is Kate, his co-star, a hot Hollywood babe with serious attitude. Throughout the play, Knox delivers a fascinating and controlled tour-de-force. She’s gives us a Kate, youthful and indulged—a self-destructive Hollywood bitch whose behavior fills tabloids

Burke Campbell, Eccentric, Kate and Sam are Not Breaking up

Karen Knox is a fiery Kate and when she first capitulates to Petruchio’s demands, she plays it with an irony and winks that lets the audience know she is no fool and is playing Petruchio to her own ends.

Drew Rowsome, My Gay Toronto, Taming of the Shrew

But the best pairing is, hands down, Petruchio (Benjamin Blais) and Kate (Karen Knox), who gel in surprising ways. I came away believing that this couple could quite happily spend the rest of their days playing not-altogether-kind pranks on their friends and neighbours, cackling and grinning throughout.

Mike Anderson, Mooney on Theatre, Taming of the Shrew