Clowns in children’s hospitals

This research study draws on social science methodologies and is rooted in applied theatre and clown scholarship and practice – it aims to explore the “foolish” experiences of clowns and disabled young people as they play together.

Most research from the health sciences focuses on medical outcomes such as reduced depression and anxiety.  However, this perspective overlooks the art form of clown, and the ways that clowns and kids play and imagine together as potentially relevant and valuable unto itself.

Our team includes Senior Scientist Dr. Barbara Gibson, clown practitioner Helen Donnelly, and hospital administrator CJ Curran.  We are currently conducting a pilot study, which we hope will be the foundation for a larger study.