National Geographic : 1944 Mar
Greece-the Birthplace of Science and Free Speech 275 Gilbert Grosvenor Around Threshing Floors, Transformed into Song-and-dance Arenas, Greek Drama Grew In this 2,400-year-old theater at Epidaurus, twenty thousand spectators took their recreation seriously. The first orchestra-or dancing place-was marked out by circling cattle, threshing grain. The dancers sang lyrical interludes, against which formal drama made slow headway. Now the stage has retired behind curtain and foot lights, and only musical comedy and the opera continue the song-and-dance tradition of early Greece. No loud speaker is needed here, for the acoustics of the theater are so good that the words of the man in the white trousers can be heard to the top row without his raising his voice (page 349).