The Thorn, a powerful and popular theatrical event that has been seen live by more than a million people, will bring the passion of Jesus to life with performances by its cast of 40 in Tampa’s Yuengling Center on Wednesday, April 5 at 7 p.m.

The Thorn offers audiences a unique theatrical experience in a show that has been hailed as “Cirque meets ‘The Passion’” thanks to its compelling mix of drama, music, dance, martial arts, aerial acrobatics, emotionally evocative performances and timeless spiritual perspectives. The script is based on the New Testament.

Author John Bolin created the show 25 years ago to convey the meaning of Christ’s sacrificial death to a group of young people who knew little about the story of Jesus’ suffering but were familiar with pain through their own practice of cutting and self-harm

The show has evolved ever since, with the current live version returning to the original format featuring St. John, “the beloved disciple,” recalling his many amazing encounters with Jesus.

“It’s a story full of love, sacrifice, spiritual warfare and redemption,” said John.

John said God called him “to tell stories on the page, stage and screen,” an assignment he has now completed with the film version of The Thorn. His books include novels (The Eden Project) and Christian growth guides (So Loved, The Two Doors of Heaven and Life Unlimited).

Sarah Bolin, John’s wife, helped create the show and manages the show’s national touring troupes.

Through a partnership with Compassion International, a ministry that helps children and their families around the world, previous tours of The Thorn encouraged 15,000 viewers to start sponsoring a child.

While previous incarnations of The Thorn have been performed mostly at churches, the 2023 tour makes the show available to everyone at mainstream performing venues.

“Jesus believes in accessibility,” said John. “He wants everyone to have access to the ultimate story of love and hope. That’s why He came to Earth in the first place.”

The film version of the show debuts nationwide on Monday and Tuesday, March 6-7, just before Easter weekend. Details and tickets are available at

Tickets for the live event are now on sale at Prices do not include facility fee or service charges. Advanced parking passes are available at

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