In 2013, NASA programmed the Mars Curiosity Rover’s sample-analysis unit to vibrate to the tune of Happy Birthday, which it sang to itself on August 5th, one year after landing on the red planet.

Curiosity is an intimate and evocative voyage of human connection through the eyes of Damien, and his relief teacher, Phoebe, who bond over a fascination with Mars and its lonely robot explorer.

An innovative and challenging work, Curiosity tears apart preconceptions of disability, as Damien, Phoebe, and Aaron, Damien's father, rocket through a galaxy of grief to find their place in the universe.

Nominated for the 2020 Patrick White Playwrights Award and the 2020 Griffin Award.

  • drama, magic realism
  • 90
  • 3 total
  • 1 female identifying, 2 male identifying
  • 18+, 16 to 18
  • young adult, adult, teen
  • Australian Plays Transform


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Gender Unspecified | Teen | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 34

EXTRACT: likes to explore and learn, and so do I, and it's a robot, and my dad and teachers and people sometimes say I'm robotic, and it's trying its best to help us find life or a place to live on Mars, which is silly, because we live here and we need to look after Earth first, but it's admirable, because imagine going by yourself somewhere and having all of humanity on your shoulders because they're stupid, and also, it landed on my birthday, which is cool, so Curiosity is like me, and it sung Happy Birthday to itself, which I have to do now, and also it must be lonely being there all by itself, and I'm lonely too, so we're two little lonely robots exploring the universe.

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