Ernie Schoen-René

This is more or less in response to the latest class-of-1959 Alum notice:

I admire David Shire’s work tremendously, but — sadly — His “Country Wife” missed the best part of the play, which comes toward its end as a number of eager-to-be-seduced women gather in the front room of Horner’s house (n.b. his name describes his favorite sport – putting horns on women’s husbands’ heads). One of the women sneaks into Horner’s quarters, followed by Horner with the obvious result. As the two emerge, the woman picks up a teacup and announces that she has been looking at Horner’s “china.” Seeing this, the other women cry out that they want some china too. The result is one of the most famous hilarious/risqué bits in all English drama.

Sadly, the play’s story focused on the “minor lover” common to lots of Restoration drama.

Excuse me — as a pro, I just felt a need to set this one right. Writing re-writes like that is a lot of work.

When we moved from a sabbatical year in England back to Chico, California. The difference between British elementary schools was disastrous — especially for our two sons (second and fifth grade). So I started writing plays and end-of-the-year musicals — as a way of pumping a little culture into their classes. I wrote both by-the-number plays based on Greek myths and musical versions of various plays — “Oedipus Rex,” “Macbeth, a western,” “Johnny Macbeth (who owns a wife-annoying dog named ‘Spot’)” and a ”Moby-Dick” and, last, a “Hamlet,” with music by me. The “Hamlet” is pretty good, and I am tempted to send it off to Messers Shire and Maltby — after I get respectable recordings of the songs (‘To Be or Not To Be” “A Ghost Comes Walking Out of The Past,” “The King’s Lament,” “Sweets for the Sweet,” etc.

Thank you for listening. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Ernst/Ernie Schoen-René