The Clown Cloud - Resilience through Laughter

Performing in healthcare contexts

The Clown Cloud / Performing in healthcare contexts


On the edge of society, naive and ridiculous, the clown’s mask provides a safe distance from humanity which allows people to recognize and laugh at various aspects of the human condition by laughing at and with the clowns. Through its immediacy and ability to create feelings of empathy and connectedness, clown performance can serve as an antidote to feelings of alienation and isolation.


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Throughout history, clowns have played an essential societal role in relieving suffering by performing for those especially in need of laughter. This tradition continues today, with clowns performing in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and territories in situations of emergency as well as healthcare settings around the world.

Working in areas of crisis and performing for vulnerable audiences, sometimes in foreign countries, means that shows are all the more unpredictable (a goat can walk on stage, the school bell can ring in the middle of the show, audiences might get out of hand with enthusiasm). This kind of work requires a heightened level of listening, a sensitivity to the audience’s experience and cultural context, and a willingness to adapt the show at any moment.








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Clown Intervention to Reduce Preoperative Anxiety in Children and Parents

This study investigated whether a Elder Clown interventions could reduce preoperative anxiety in children hospitalized for minor surgery and in their


Life’s lessons from children in crisis

TedX Talk at the TU Hamburg, Germany, November 2015