Storyteller, actress, director, producer, comedian and emcee: Elizabeth Lord is a one-woman theater company.
On Friday, Lord opens her latest one-woman show, “Homesick.” It’s her first solo show since 2016’s “Show Don’t Tell” — and her first in a long time not to be in The Midnight Sun, the now-closed black box space that she managed for years.
This one is at Olympia Family Theater. However, it’s definitely not for kids; Lord recommends it for ages 16 and older.
Though solo shows don’t happen every year, stories are always a key part of Lord’s work. Among numerous other gigs, she co-hosts the monthly story slam Story Oly at Rhythm & Rye.
The Olympian caught up with Lord last Sunday for a conversation about life, work and, of course, stories.
Q. How’s it going?
A. It goes well. It’s been a long weekend. I hosted bingo last night (at the Senior Center), and today, I emceed Pride on the stage in the park. It was a lot of talking on the mic.
Q. What are you homesick for?
A. Well, actually, it’s more about being sick of home — that home was making me sick.
No. I’m really delving into my childhood with this show. I’ve told some stories of my youth from time to time, but this time I’m telling stories about my time attending a very special summer camp that I went to as a kid and what my life was like at home at that time and how hard it was at different times in my childhood and how sometimes home can make you feel sick.
I was thinking, ‘Molly is going to ask me, what’s the show about?’ I realized that the show is about domestic violence.
Q. That’s a really heavy topic.
A. This might be a more serious show than some that I’ve done in the past, but I am inherently comedic. I can’t help myself. It’s not that I’m going to make light of a serious subject, but I do believe that the medicine goes down with a spoonful of sugar, so there are moments of levity and humor in this show. It wouldn’t be one of my shows without it.
I went to this summer camp, and that features prominently in the show, and this camp was sponsored by the Episcopalian church. I think back on all these songs I know about Jesus. It’s wild. When you’re a kid, you don’t realize what the lyrics mean. All you know is that it’s fun to sing. It’s fun to sing songs when there are hand gestures that go along and all of that.
Oh, singing will be part of this show, too.
Q. Do you dress in drag or wear any funny costumes?
A. No. I did today and yesterday, but …
Q. Tell us a story.
A. When I was a teenager, I went to this camp on the shore of Lake Tahoe, and so we would always go swimming. One year, I didn’t have a swimsuit with me, and I didn’t want to wear bulky cut-off jeans. I needed something I could move in, and my friend lent me a pair of his BVD briefs, which kind of looked like swimsuit bottoms, and I wore that and a bra — and a T-shirt because I didn’t want to get a sunburn.
I have a picture of me wearing boy’s underpants next to Lake Tahoe, and they’re sopping wet. I realized later, of course, that when white cotton gets wet, you can see through it. But I was completely oblivious.
The reason I have a photograph was that another family that was there was so astounded that they took a picture of me, and they had it enlarged, and they mailed it to me.
Elizabeth Lord tackles both domestic violence and summer church camp in her latest solo show.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Olympia Family Theater, 612 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia
Tickets: $10-$20 sliding scale; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
The monthly story slam, hosted by Lord and actress/playwright/choreographer Amy Shephard, invites anyone to get on stage and tell a story. The June theme is “Leaving Home.”
When: 5:30-8 p.m. June 19 and the third Tuesday of each month
Where: Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia
Tickets: Pay what you can, with a $5-$10 donation suggested.
More information: amyorca.wixsite.com/storyoly