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An Evening with the Firesign Theater (Or What’s Left of It!)

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Library of Congress, Jefferson Building, Coolidge Auditorium

10 First Street Southeast

Washington, DC 20032

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David Ossman and Phillip Proctor are the two surviving founding members of the popular, innovative four man satirical troupe known as the Firesign Theater. From the late 60s on, they worked in a funny, literate, innovative and anarchic writing and performing style that freely mixed old time radio and movie tropes, cultural and political satire and a dreamlike stream-of-consciousness approach to plot development. Their work influenced everyone from the original Saturday Night Live to the contemporary podcast “Welcome to Night Vale.” Their classic albums remain in print via compact disc and download. In 2006, their album “Don’t Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers” was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recorded Sound Registry.

Over the course of about 90 minutes, Ossman and Proctor will discuss the history and impact of the Firesign Theater with video clips, slides, reminisces and re-creations, as well as their continuing work in various genres to the present. For this occasion, they written a new sketch titled “The History of the Art of Radio, Revised,” and will perform it with live sound effects.

Beginning in 1968, the Firesign Theater recorded over twenty albums, eight of which made Billbboard’s album chart, and appeared frequently on radio, television, film and stage through the 1970s, with frequent reunions until the recent deaths of co-founders Peter Bergman and Phil Austin. In recent years, David Ossman has been active as a writer, actor and director of audio theater for NPR and others, and did voice work for the film “A Bug’s Life.” His most recent book is “Marshmallows and Despair.” Phil Proctor has been very active as an actor on stage, screen and television, including the upcoming PBS production “Francis Scott Key: After the Song.” He voiced the character of Howard DeVille for the animated tv series “Rugrats” and “All Grown Up,” as well for characters in many other animated series and features, including “A Bug’s Life” and ”Monsters, Inc.” His forthcoming memoir is titled “Where’s My Fortune Cookie?”

For more information, please visit: http://firesigntheatre.com/index.php, http://planetproctor.com/ and https://www.davidossman.com/ .

For questions concerning this event, please contact Matthew Barton, Curator of Recorded Sound, Packard Campus for Audiovisual Conservation, Library of Congress at mbarton@loc.gov.

Please request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov.

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Library of Congress, Jefferson Building, Coolidge Auditorium

10 First Street Southeast

Washington, DC 20032

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