"Until now every night has been a gem
well spentóbut this time I canít think my way. Iíve come up
against an essence. In a rockless unwooded land I can forge these
stones in a furnaceóbut who can make firewood? If a whole
cityís cooking must be done on dung and dried reeds, how can I
find the fuel to bake a million bricks? I canít squeeze flame
from sod! Whatís left to burn? There isnít heat enough in all
our straw to glaze a single square-foot slab of clay."
The Tower of Gilgamesh
The Acts of Gilgamesh
Two Plays by Jonathan Bayliss
Jonathan Bayliss (1926-2009) wrote two plays loosely related to
the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic. Information about the playwright is
Civilization began in Sumer (now southern Iraq), before the civilizations of
China, Egypt, or India.
Agriculture started in Sumer; the first cities were formed
there. It is in that part of Iraq - at a time when the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers emptied separately into the Persian Gulf - that the
first writing and numbering, the first accounting system, and the first literature
originated - and, for better or for worse, the Tower of Babel.
The epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible both came out of Iraq. The West
shares them with Muslim civilization.
These plays are sequentially related to the life of Gilgamesh, but
they can be produced independently and in different styles.
The production notes of The Tower of Gilgamesh
are relevant to the second play, The Acts of
Gilgamesh. Both playscripts are available for inspection (PDF
format) from this website.
For permission to reproduce or perform the plays, email