The Knitting Pilgrim is a multidisciplinary one-person theatrical experience that uses storytelling, image projection and a one-of-a-kind textile installation called Stitched Glass. The show comes to The Muskoka Discovery Centre in Gravenhurst on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.
Thanks to a generous supporter, all ticket sales will go towards funding Friends of the Muskoka Watershed (FOTMW) projects. FOTMW is a charity focussed on preserving Muskoka Watersheds using science driven solutions.
Created by actor, writer and knitter Kirk Dunn, Stitched Glass is a triptych of large hand-knitted panels, designed in the style of stained-glass windows, which looks at the commonalities and conflicts amongst the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The textile masterwork was supported by a Chalmers Foundation grant through the Ontario Arts Council in 2003.
It took Dunn an incredible 15 years and 90 pounds of yarn to complete. Knitting is encouraged during the show if audience members are so inclined—Dunn has yarn and needles to give out onstage. People can also Bring Their Own Knitting (#BYOK). He is using the audience’s knitting to assemble a giant Moebius Strip, a curiously paradoxical object that has significance in the play.
Dunn and Claire Ross Dunn co-wrote The Knitting Pilgrim, which uses the huge Stitched Glass panels as its set. The play recounts Dunn’s artistic and spiritual journey of hand-knitting the project, and his hope to contribute to the vital conversation about xenophobia, Antisemitism and Islamophobia, dealing with internal/external strife, and fear of the other.
“The hope has always been to create conversation,” says Dunn, who sought out Christian, Muslim and Jewish consultants to help him research and design the artwork and, more personally, to learn about the feelings and experiences of others. “A conversation between all people—believers and non-believers—who find themselves in conflict. How can we better understand and empathize with each other? Everyone has a unique background, point of view, and experience, and at the same time, many experiences are universal. Focusing on what knits us together, rather than what pulls us apart, is a place to start.”
The Knitting Pilgrim premiered at the Aga Kahn Museum in 2019. Now Magazine rated it as one of the ten best shows in Toronto that month, and Mooney on Theatre gave it 5 out of 5 stars at the Toronto Fringe. The show has toured across Ontario and the Maritimes, in Austria and Germany, and has performances booked into 2025.”
For tickets, go to Eventbrite: The Knitting Pilgrim in Muskoka
Tickets are $40, Seniors 65 and over $25
What Audiences are Saying:
“A brilliant show that sticks with you, teaches you how to think, about faith, empathy resilience, and art. When doubt about your talent slips in and dogs your every step keep knitting. The end created a wonderful gasp and the tears begin to flow. This is a brilliant moving piece. Kirk is the Jimmy Carter of knitting.” – Deb K
“It starts with a guy on a stool, inviting you to come up and take a ball of yarn and needles from his basket. It ends with you wondering how to nominate him as a United Nations Peace Ambassador.” – Colin Noden, Apt613
“Went with my teenagers and we haven’t stopped talking about it since!” – Cynthia S
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