LONE WOLF — John de Lancie is accustomed to playing many roles, from acting in TV shows, films and stage productions to directing radio plays and operas.
So, it’s not surprising that de Lancie, 61, best known for playing the impish, godlike alien Q in "Star Trek: The Next Generation,” worked in some multitasking when he accepted a teaching position at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. For the past two weeks, the performer has been training aspiring actors at the rigorous academy for Oklahoma high school students. The program takes place at Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center near Lone Wolf. "I roll out of bed, go and teach, have a little something to eat for lunch, go and teach and have a little something for dinner, and listen to lectures. So, I’m arts-immersed ... just like the kids,” he said with a laugh during a recent phone interview from Quartz Mountain. Once his students give their final acting performance tonight, de Lancie is heading to Tulsa, where he will appear Saturday and Sunday at Trek Expo 2009. Though he doesn’t do much teaching these days, he accepted the Quartz Mountain job because of the quality of the program. "When you’re teaching young kids, a lot of them just haven’t done this ... and they certainly haven’t done it at a level with somebody like myself who is coming from the point of view of saying, ‘Listen, this is how it’s done, and let me explain to you and show you,’” he said. "There’s no coddling here because we’re putting up a show, and it’s being done very quickly.” His students tonight will perform a spoofy adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s "The Lost World.” "We’re going to give a nod to the notion of a radio show, but there’s also a great deal of movement. ... It is much more a play than it is a radio play,” he said. "It’s a three-ring circus.” De Lancie said his wide-ranging roles not only make him a better teacher, they make up just the kind of career he had in mind when he got into the entertainment business. "I’m no good after about three months at anything; I am ready to move on.