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Clowning their way to the Capital

5 March, 2012

Clowning their way to the Capital

Clown Doctors New Zealand is coming to Wellington for the first time, and the organisation is on the look-out for talented performers to train up.

Museum Art Hotel owner Chris Parkin is helping the charity to launch in the Capital by offering to be Wellington’s foundation sponsor.

The organisation, established in New Zealand by Prof. Thomas Petschner, (CEO and Director of Creation of Clown Doctors New Zealand), made up of a group of professional clowns trained to the highest international standards in the art of medical clowning, is already achieving great success in Christchurch Hospital and Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland. The Clown Doctors visit and entertain sick children in hospital with the aim of providing a positive emotional boost to the young patients, their families and to hospital staff.

Auditions to find Clown Doctors to work at Wellington Hospital will be held at Museum Art Hotel on April 1. The organisation is looking for people with musical ability, dance, performing arts, improvisational theatre, puppetry, maturity and life experience, the ability to 'feel' or 'read' into a situation and act spontaneously and accordingly. Ultimately, the clown doctor's job is to induce laughter and smiles to reduce the gravity, stress and fear that is often associated with being in hospital.

To qualify, applicants must be 18 years and over. The audition is also open to candidates from New Plymouth, Wanganui and Palmerston North where Clown Doctors may soon be introduced, given the strong interest by hospitals in those regions.

"Thomas and I are thrilled with Chris Parkin's offer to be Wellington's foundation sponsor and it is with his generous support that we will be able to get Clown Doctors started in the Capital. We are very excited that he has made this next stage of development possible for us and that we will be able to spread joy and laughter to the children in Wellington Hospital,” said Rita Noetzel, Clown Doctors Programme Director.

“Clown Doctors are already doing a brilliant job in Auckland and Christchurch so I am honoured to be able to assist them in continuing their great work and spreading that same joy to patients, staff and care-givers here in Wellington. We all know that laughter is the best medicine and it will be wonderful to see the Clown Doctors put a smile on many faces in our hospital,” said Chris Parkin, owner of Museum Art Hotel.

The selected Clown Doctors will go on to complete medical clown training provided by trainers accredited by the International Institute for Medical Clowning (associated with Steinbeis University in Berlin) before they officially begin working in Wellington Hospital in June 2012.

To apply for the audition you need to send your CV to Rita Noetzel at by March 20th.


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