"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."

-- Gilgamesh



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 available at and Custom writings on the novel could be found on and

  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



home | The Tower of Gilgamesh | The Acts of Gilgamesh



Inquiries c/o Drawbridge Press, PO Box 833, Gloucester MA 01931


copyright 2010