NBC
James Hibberd
August 05, 2015 AT 12:26 PM EDT

After a long search, NBC has found its Dorothy.

EW has learned the broadcaster has tapped an 18-year-old New Jersery newcomer to play the starring role in its upcoming production of The Wiz Live! With five years of musical experience, Shanice Williams has landed the part, joining Queen Latifah (as The Wiz), Mary J. Blige (as the Wicked Witch of the West) and David Alan Grier (as the Cowardly Lion) in the production.

William beat hundreds of other applicants for the iconic role of a Kansas farm girl who gets swept up in a tornado and is sent to the mysterious land of Oz. She’s appeared in local productions of West Side Story, 42nd Street, Pippin and other titles. The Wiz Live! airs Dec. 3 on NBC. 

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