The littlest cast members of the national tour of Waitress, 5-year-olds Harper Schmid and Meredith Wakefield, were the first to walk down an improvised red carpet last Friday at the Connor Palace as Destination Cleveland staff cheered them heartily.

The girls waved and chatted up the crowd a bit like pros as the group welcomed them to the first day of Cleveland rehearsals for the tour of Waitress, which is launching from Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. The Northeast Ohio girls had so much fun during their first entrance, they decided to do it again — this time skipping.

Harper of Norton and Meredith of Aurora were chosen through local auditions to share the role of Lulu, the daughter of main character Jenna, for the musical’s three-week Cleveland engagement. Little Lulu makes an appearance in the show’s final scene and has a few lines.

For auditions at Playhouse Square on Sept. 12, the Waitress production company was seeking girls shorter than 4-foot-2 and no older than 5 years, 3 months, to play a sweet, carefree 4- to 5-year-old. More than 40 girls auditioned.

When Amy Schmid, Harper’s mom, got the email two weeks later that her daughter got the part, she started yelling for joy to her husband, Kris.

“She just got this big smile on her face,’’ Amy Schmid said of Harper, who has previous acting experience as Alice Jr. in Alice and Wonderland last summer at Kenmore Youth Theater.

When the girls met the newly arrived adult cast of 19 and walked into the theater with them for the first time last Friday, lead actress Desi Oakley (Jenna) held Meredith’s hand and Lenne Klingaman (Dawn) held Harper’s hand. Then each girl got to run through her two lines as Lulu interacts with several characters in the final scene.

“I had to run over to her and say, ‘Mama’ ” to Oakley, Harper, a kindergartner at Northside Christian Academy explained.

So what was Harper’s reaction to finding out she was cast in Waitress? “You have a good time and maybe I could do some fun stuff in it,’’ she said of the show.

Each girl is expected to perform in eight shows during the Cleveland run, and each will be compensated. Since they don’t appear until the second act, they’ll be called to each performance by intermission.

Meredith’s mom, Dana Wakefield, said Lulu wears overalls and a T-shirt in her scene. She and husband Dave were pleasantly surprised when they found out that Meredith got the part. Dana Wakefield described her daughter as outgoing, vocal and a hugger.

“I get to go on stage,’’ said Meredith, who is in her first play. “I got to run up to the girl [Oakley] who was pretending to be my mommy and hug her.”

Meredith is in kindergarten at Miller Elementary School in Aurora and studies dance. She loves posters and wants to get a Waitress poster signed by the whole cast.

“I’m still pretty shocked,’’ Dana Wakefield said. “This is a really fun thing that we are not anticipating going anywhere after this, but it’s fantastic that we’ve got this experience.”