Newcomer Shanice Williams Cast as Dorothy in NBC’s ‘The Wiz.’

The Wiz Live, Dorothy, Shanice Williams
(Jeff Riedel / NBC)

Back in May, NBC announced that it would be holding an open casting for the role of Dorothy in the upcoming special The Wiz Live!. Since then, NBC has confirmed a star-studded cast for the production, including Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and stage veteran Stephanie Mills for the role of Auntie Em. Mills played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of the play. Beyonce and Uzo Aduba are also rumored to be up for roles.

Now, after months of speculation and anticipation, NBC finally announced who would be playing Dorothy. In an exclusive segment this morning, during the Today show, it was revealed that 18-year-old actress and signer Shanice Williams has landed the role of Dorothy. Williams, a New Jersey native was tearful as she expressed gratitude over the opportunity. Hear her beautiful voice in this clip of her audition, below.

While Shanice is a newcomer, the fact that she beat out so many hopefuls and will be sharing the stage with some major talent is a sign that she’ll definitely be able to hold her own as Dorothy. Williams has appeared in local productions of West Side Story, 42nd Street, and Pippin, among other titles.

The Wiz Live! will air on NBC on Thursday, December 3, 2015.