The ruby red slippers have been filled! New Jersey native, Shanice Williams has been cast as Dorothy in NBC’s musical reboot of “The Wizard of Oz” titled “The Wiz Live”, slated to also appear on Broadway by 2017. According to NBC, “The Wiz Live” embarks on its latest musical holiday tradition with a live television production of the groundbreaking Broadway show that brought the vivid world of Oz to life in a fresh, funky sing-along journey down the yellow brick road.
How does Miss Shanice Williams factor into all of this?? Well she has been cast as Dorothy, on a major network. That’s major for an 18 year old, beautiful, curvy and seemingly natural haired, African American young woman to star as a lead role on a network that is not only successful but is overwhelmingly not diverse. The lack of diversity on major networks is staggering; there are practically no shows in recent years that feature an African-American as the main character.
In an interview on the Today Show, Williams admits that she never imagined she’d get the part, and had basically gone to the audition to learn the process of trying out for a role, after looking up auditions while home for the summer.
When I went to the audition, it was more of a learning experience for me so I never imagined this would happen in a million years. I was just going to learn what an audition process is in New York City.
Beginning December 3rd, Shanice Williams will star alongside many other big names including, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Stephanie Mills, Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley to name a few. The cast isn’t even complete yet and it already sounds like a hit! She has five years of musical training that also includes dance and piano. She
With the emergence of shows like “Scandal” and “How to get away with murder” on ABC this has hopefully lead to a new wave of diverse roles for not only women but for different body types, looks and ethnicities to show their value, which can in turn change the perceptions of many and for future generations.