Cecile B DeMille was the first director
to use a megaphone on the movie set.
Theatrical costumes were an innovation
from Thespis, Greece in the 6th century BC. Theatrical costumes are still
called "the robes of Thespis." The most important feature of the Greek
costume was the mask, which indicated the character's age, sex, station,
and customary mood. The masks were made of linen, cork or wood and were
skillfully carved and painted. Their funnel shaped mouths are thought to
have acted as megaphones to amplify the voice.
Many primitive cultures employ masks
with which to disguise the voice in magical or religious rites. Such
megaphones are still used today in as widely dissimilar cultures as those
of Switzerland and the Brazilian Indians.
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