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Shanice Williams (born July 9, 1996) is an American actress and singer best known for her performance as Dorothy in the televised live performance of NBC's The Wiz Live! in December 2015.


She grew up in Rahway, New Jersey. Her mother, Andrea Holmes, is a postal worker, and her father, Shelton Williams, is a security guard. Her cousin, Willis Williams, is an independent professional wrestler known as Ali Shabazz who made his national television debut on the September 26, 2016 episode of WWE's flagship program, Monday Night Raw.[1] She attended Rahway High School, where she performed as part of her school's drama program.[2]

Williams studied briefly at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, but began her singing career in her grandfather's choir.[3]

Her first major break was playing the role of Dorothy in The Wiz Live!, a televised program based on the 1975 Tony award-winning, Broadway theatrical production, The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical "Wonderful Wizard of Oz", which reinvented American author L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as an African-American story. Williams was selected for the role through an open casting call when she was 18-years-old. The production is a collaboration between the NBC broadcast network and the theatrical division of Cirque du Soleil.

In 2019, Williams was cast in the Hollywood Bowl production of Into The Woods as Little Red Riding Hood, alongside Broadway stars Sutton Foster, Patina Miller and guest-starring Whoopi Goldberg, which ran July 26-28.[4]


  1. ^ Ryznik, Melena. "Shanice Williams on Her Road to Dorothy and 'The Wiz Live!'". New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Hyman, Vicki. Also Studied in the arts at Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn Nj. "N.J. newcomer Shanice Williams cast as Dorothy in NBC's 'The Wiz Live!'", NJ Advance Media for, August 5, 2015. Accessed December 4, 2015. "A little over a year ago, Shanice Williams was making her last curtain call at Rahway High School. Now the 18-year-old is the face of NBC's The Wiz Live!, following in the footsteps of Carrie Underwood and Allison Williams as the star of network's annual musical extravaganza, beating out hundreds of unknowns for the coveted role of Dorothy."
  3. ^ Anderson, Tre'vell. "Shanice Williams steps into Dorothy's shoes for NBC's 'The Wiz Live!'". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  4. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 24, 2019). "Patina Miller, Gaten Matarazzo, Shanice Williams Will Star in Hollywood Bowl's Into the Woods". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-08-05.

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