It didn't take long before Drew Davis was sold on directing Earth and Sky for the Aiken Community Playhouse.
"I read the first scene," Mr. Davis said of the drama, which opens Friday at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
Within the first two pages of the script, one of the lead characters, David Ames, dies. His lover, Sara McKeon, is left with more questions than answers. Unable to get satisfaction from the police, she takes it on herself to delve into David's past.
The would-be poet and part-time librarian discovers a side of David she never knew existed.
Time moves in two directions in the telling of her story.
"All of the love scenes are backwards in time, and the detective story moves forward," said Mr. Davis.
Playing the leads are two actors unknown to Aiken Community Playhouse audiences.
Alisa Hamrick plays Sara, and Eric Greenlee plays David.
Ms. Hamrick had a small role in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and worked on costumes for the playhouse's most recent production, Grease. Mr. Greenlee just moved to the area a few months ago.
Ms. Hamrick said she was surprised when she was cast as Sara but is relishing every minute of it.
"I love this character. I love the transition she makes. She becomes very strong," she said.
The action of the play is like that in many crime dramas on television, said Mr. Davis.
"There are many twists and turns. You get to solve the case by picking up the same clues she does. There are a lot of choppy scenes," he said.
Threaded throughout the play are verses by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. "They are part of her psyche," said Mr. Davis.
Sara's devotion to David is summed up in the lines of Thomas' poem This Side of the Truth:
"And all of your deeds and words,
Each truth, each lie,
Die in unjudging love."
Earth and Sky will be staged at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Oct. 26 and 27, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for ages 60 and older, $12 for students and $6 for children younger than 12.
For more information, call (803) 648-1438 or visit www.aikencommunityplayhouse.com.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.