A joint venture between Anson County Schools, Anson County Arts Council, and Rockin’ Rhyme Story Time presented the two-hour stage production of the book “Better than My Dreams: Turkeyette’s Adventures in New York City” on Nov. 10.
Amy J. Horne, director and co-author, said that the event was for students in grades 2 through 6, and took place at the Ansonia Theatre.
The Anson co-sponsors were the Anson County Arts Council, Anson County Schools, and Superintendent Michael Freeman.
“In July 2017, we began preparing for our stage production, dedicating many hours of preparation, with much attention to detail,” Horne said. “These folks have dedicated their time and gifts to this outreach mission ministry every Sunday afternoon for the past three months, tolerating me affectionately, bossing them around, sending numerous texts, constantly giving ‘notes.’”
Horne said that she is truly thankful for them, like Turkeyette-thankful, which is more thankful than thankful.
“To see this story, these characters, come to life through my friends, my children’s friends, has been a gratifying, humbling and emotional journey; my cup truly runneth over,” Horne said. “Like Turkeyette-runneth over, which is more runneth over than runneth over.”
The production was adapted from the book, written by Horne and her 14-year-old daughter, R. McKenzie Horne, a chapter book sequel to the picture book “Runaway Turkeyette.”
Turkeyette continues her journey in New York City after “flying the coop.” When she didn’t receive the presidential Thanksgiving pardon, she finds herself friendless and homeless.
“However, the mature, Christ-like, yet homeless Trinity takes her in and reminds her (and the reader) that ‘You gotta have hope,’” said Dale Rivers, instructional reading coach in Anson County Schools. “The scripture references and inspirational songs offer encouragement for any who may have lost their way.”
Although during the writing of “Runaway Turkeyette,” her daughter was in the process of healing, for the writing of “Better than my Dreams,” Horne said she just felt compelled to finish the story.
“Such tremendous ‘good’ was born from something terribly bad,” Horne said. “For it was through our family’s (Storm & McKenzie’s) healing process, our book/theatre ministry began. And as my ship was figuratively turned into a direction I never imagined, it truly has been ‘Better Than My Dreams.’”
Horne said that because of the gravity of that shift in direction, they adamantly believe that Turkeyette is more than just a children’s book, deeper than a production. She also said that she believes that Turkeyette is much bigger than its authors as they strive to minister to children and to encourage them to give back.
“I pray this lil’ turkey blesses you and gives you hope, as Turkeyette symbolizes our story of faith, hope, and love,” she said.
Horne said that the scriptures, “Be still, and know that I am God,” found in Psalm 46:10, and “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,” found in James 1:17, are scriptures that they acknowledge and gained from the journey.
“To our surprise, even grade 6 boys loved the story; the support and intense journey has been overwhelming and humbling,” Horne said. “I appreciate those that supported this project, and it has been a privilege to do what I love with folks I love.”
Reach Natalie Davis at 704-994-5471.
Turkeyette falls asleep, safe in the arms of Trinity, family-by-heart in the play "Better Than My Dreams, based off a children’s book of the same name.