“The Thorn” Takes its Popular Encounter with Jesus Nationwide in 2023

July 24, 2023

The Thorn

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“The Thorn” bring the passion of Jesus to life and will be performed at the Fisher Center at Belmont University on November 4th and 5th, 2023.

July 24, 2023 – “The Thorn,” a powerful and popular live 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 across the nation in 2023.

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 Bolin.

Meet “The Thorn” creators

 “The Thorn” creator John Bolin, says 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. “God asked us to trust him and open our hands, and he promised to make something beautiful happen,” said Sarah.

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.

Jesus trending

Although polls show that U.S. church attendance is declining, interest in Jesus is growing. “The Chosen,” the popular streaming series about Jesus, has racked up more than 400 million episode views—numbers that should rise following the November launch of free streams of the show.

“As I first saw with my students 25 years ago, people who may have jaundiced views of Christians or churches are more open to learning about who the real Jesus was, how he lived, and what he taught,” said Bolin. 

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

“Jesus believes in accessibility,” said Bolin. “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.”