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Our mission is to alleviate the stress and isolation of hospitalized children and their families through the healing art of Clown, and to promote laughter and play as vital components of health and well-being. Our vision is to see medical clowning and the clinical benefits of laughter integrated into health care, and available to all children in hospitals, hospices, and care facilities in our region.
Room Circus Medical Clowning makes rounds two days per week on the Medical-Surgical Units and in the outpatient clinics of Seattle Children's Hospital, which draws patients from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, as well as nationally and internationally.
The clown team is comprised of four professional stage performers who are selected for their sensitivity and teamwork. The clowns always work in pairs, partnering in the style of classic comic duos, in the vein of Laurel and Hardy. Besides being accomplished physical comedians and improvisers, their skills include music, juggling, magic and pedi-hat-tricks. Because of their professional background, when our artists encounter the specific challenges of performing in a hospital they are able to quickly "read" a room, discerning whether to go or stay, when to be kooky and when tender, creating improvised material that fits the moment and is age and development appropriate. They are additionally trained in hospital protocol, hygiene, infection control, safety and confidentiality.
Medical clowning is an integrative therapy increasingly used in health care facilities worldwide. Research studies show that the clinical health benefits of medical clowning for children include: reducing anxiety before surgery; reducing pain; and reducing the time it takes to recover from respiratory infections.
Room Circus volunteers work under our part time paid administrative staff to help provide publicity and funding for our professional hospital clown program.