The cast will be headed by Carol Dennis in the leading role of Yvonne Wheeler with Paul Ainsley, Michael Coleman, Lawrence Cummings, Pamela Hamill, Connie Jackson, Sylvia MacCalla, Anthony Manough, Kamilah Marshall, Perry Ojeda, Christropher Rogue, and Michael E. Shepperd.
Based on an original concept and story by Stevens, Black Diamond has a book by Stephen Calmson and a score by Mitch Bottler (music) and Norma Helms (lyrics). Jeffrey Polk directs the presentation with musical direction by Gerald Sternbach. Holmes is project coordinator of the event.
The musical, set in New York between 1964 and 1984, "deals with an industrious black woman and her three children - as they rise financially, socially and politically- over the ever-changing landscape of American life," according to press notes.
In a statement Stevens said, "In its own way, Black Diamond is quite unusual. It has a truly original story and score - not based on any pre-existing material. And its African-American characters get out of poverty, do not tap dance, sing gospel, or perform minstel material. It is a dynamic contemporary story of people on the move and the challenges that confront them. It also has a sharp satirical edge."
Additional information on the reading can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.