the day we were born

On a day in the northernmost U.S. city two whales are freed and two boys are born.

Raised as brothers within a culture and climate in crisis, they join the Alaskan National Guard in high school and are activated for service after graduation.

From the freezing Arctic Circle to the sweltering deserts of Iraq the past and present coexist in a race against time trying to bring...
On a day in the northernmost U.S. city two whales are freed and two boys are born.

Raised as brothers within a culture and climate in crisis, they join the Alaskan National Guard in high school and are activated for service after graduation.

From the freezing Arctic Circle to the sweltering deserts of Iraq the past and present coexist in a race against time trying to bring everyone together before it’s too late.

Winner of the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize
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the day we were born

Recommended by

  • Darcy Parker Bruce:
    6 Apr. 2018
    This play this play this play. So funny. So beautiful and wrenching. So theatrical. I'm so happy to have found this play and I'm excited to read the rest of Jaisey's work. I look forward to seeing this show on stage.
  • Unicorn Theatre:
    6 Apr. 2018
    This play was a SEMIFINALIST for the 2017-2018 In-Progress New Play Reading Series at Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. It is our pleasure to support THE DAY WE WERE BORN.
  • Gina Femia:
    28 Nov. 2017
    This play is breathtaking, heartbreaking, funny and I'm positive, unlike anything you've ever read. I'm a huge fan of this gorgeous work of art. Please read and produce this play!

Character Information

  • Raven Who Creates This World
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Female-id or NB
    A spirit.
    A grandmother.
    She is fierce sassy vivid – the uber Strong Heart Woman.
    She carries the world and all its stories.
    She tries to weave through words in and outside time a web of a story
    in which redemption and healing are possible.
  • White Caribou Belly Woman
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Female-id or NB
    A spirit.
    16-year old.
    She is radiant spunky grounded open sans judgment.
    She sings from the bottom of the sea.
    She wears her fav Barrow High School Whalers white hoodie.
  • Soldier
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Any gender
    A lost spirit.
    A soldier* who can’t remember his life.
    A Vietnam veteran who took his life.

    *Veteran preferred.
  • Qi
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Any gender
    A boy.
    Small of stature*. Made of words.
    Scorns tradition and longs to escape.
    Swears. A lot.
    Born the same day as Benny.

    *preferred
  • Benny
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Any gender
    A boy.
    Large of stature* - a gentle giant.
    Radiant grounded open sans judgment.
    An old soul, he wants to use traditional and modern ways
    to write new stories in order to heal the wounded world.
    He longs for Qi to accept him as a brother.
    Born the same day as Qi.

    *preferred
  • Emil
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Any gender
    A lost boy.*
    Sits in the back of the bus. Runs a crew. Sells pills and bootleg booze.
    Father murdered someone and has been in prison for life in Juneau since Emil was small.
    Desperate for love and to belong but doesn’t realize it. Unmoored from all anchors.

    *Can be same actor as Uncle.
  • Qi's Mother
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Female-id or NB
    A haunted woman.*
    She was raised traditional. Off-the-grid.
    After her father, a Vietnam veteran, killed her mother and himself she walked alone to go live
    with her distant (blood ties and miles) cousins.
    She had Qi when she was 16. She raised Qi and Benny as brothers.
    She struggles with addictions [alcohol, cutting].
    She is immensely eloquent in silence and in expressing herself in wordless song.

    *If necessary, this character can be omitted.
    But her presence must be sensed and honored as living breathing grieving real.
    Or she's just another Silenced Invisible Indigenous Woman for others to 'write' or ignore.
  • Benny's Uncle
    Any Age,
    POC. Indigenous preferred.
    ,
    Any gender
    A haunted man.*
    Subsistence hunter. Honors the traditional ways. A whaling captain.
    Can’t forgive Benny for his mother’s death when he was born.
    Tries to be a father figure for Qi.
    Secretly in love with Qi’s mother.
    At times expresses himself in wordless song.

    *Can be same actor as Emil.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Blank Theatre's Living Room Series
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Marin Theatre Company, in-house Company reading
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Oklahoma City Theater Company, as part of the Native American New Play Festival
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    Native Voices at the Autry, as part of the First Look Series, Los Angeles, CA
    ,
    2012

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Oklahoma City Theater Company - 6 nonAEA workshops with some actors on book during the Native American New Play Festival
    ,
    2016

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
In-Progress New Play Reading Series
,
,
2018
Semi-Finalist
,
Bay Area Playwrights Festival
,
2018
Finalist
,
O'Neill National Playwrights Conference
,
2017
Honorable Mention
,
The List
,
Kilroys
,
2017
Finalist
,
Princess Grace Award
,
Princess Grace Foundation-USA
,
2017
Finalist
,
First Flight New Play Festival
,
Boomerang Theatre Company
,
2017
Judges' Choice
,
Native American New Play Festival
,
Oklahoma City Theater Company
,
2016