Ron DeLay: School exec and singing dog

Arts Profile

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2000

Snoopy: Ron DeLay is a singer, stage director and performer with a long and varied history in entertainment. He's directing the current production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown," and also performing on stage as a singing, wisecracking, tapdancing Snoopy.

This is his second time directing "Charlie Brown." He directed the musical in the small Eastern Oregon town of Milton Freewater in 1971, one of his first gigs after graduating from Eastern Washington's Whitman College with degrees in drama and education.

DeLay, 51, grew up in Seattle. He sang in coffeehouses and musicals in college, and he's worked on stage and backstage ever since. He's directed plays, such as "Waiting for Godot," and "Anne Frank," and musicals such as "Cabaret." He also wrote and directed a musical review of 1920s-era entertainers called "And there was..."

Rich and Famous: DeLay worked in the entertainment business in the late 1970s in Los Angeles, a time he jokingly refers to as his "Rich and Famous period." He owned and operated Emris Records and recorded, performed and distributed popular and classical music. He also worked as a singer and stand-up comedian and toured up and down the West Coast.

Jumping Ship in Dutch Harbor: The company folded in the early 1980s, and DeLay took a job on a crab processor in the Aleutian Islands.

"I jumped ship in Dutch Harbor," he said. "I got a job with the University of Alaska system there."

He directed a production of Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water" in Dutch Harbor before heading to the Interior.

He went on to serve as the superintendent of the Tanana School District for five years and moved to Juneau in 1997. He produced and performed in a variety show benefit for the non-profit Hope Cottages in 1998. Last year he played Hollywood movie producer Billy Einhorn in Perseverance Theatre's "House of Blue Leaves."

He currently works as the director of student services for the Juneau School District. This winter he's planning to teach a class for teachers at the University of Alaska Southeast on using musical theater in the classroom. He's also planning on producing another benefit concert this winter, featuring the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and incorporating students from his musical theater class.

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