Curiosity by Daley Rangi

RECOMMENDED FOR: Secondary students


CASTING NOTES: Inclusive casting encouraged. Each character has a disability, and therefore all roles should be filled by actors with relevant lived experience, where possible. The listed genders of the cast are flexible, and only exist as a guide.  

A PLAY TO: Read, read aloud, study, perform in class, produce (see casting notes) 

GENRE: Drama, realism 

THEMES: Identity, belonging, dreams and hopes, disability/ability 

CURRICULUM/STUDY LINKS: The Arts – Drama, English, Literacy, Science 



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. 



The prologue to the play sets a scene: ‘A dimly lit space floating in an abyss of blackness’ and ‘Damien, Phoebe and Aaron stand quietly, vacantly in the space…they begin in the space and do not leave it’. Other stage directions and the epilogue evoke a sense of the fantastical, of space and a planetary landscape. This could be generated through sound, light, multi-media, bodies or more realistic set and properties. Lots of possibilities. 



We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024