The enchanted world of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming to life with the help of a little Ballarat magic.
Several of the cast have either trained or taught in Ballarat's thriving musical theatre courses and are taking their talents from the Muggle world in to the halls of Hogwarts and the wizarding community.
Amanda LaBonte spent three years studying the-then University of Ballarat's musical theatre course while fellow cast member Mark Dickinson has been teaching vocal technique to Federation University Arts Academy students.
Both are members of the ensemble and understudies for lead roles in the production, which opened in Melbourne's Princess Theatre in January and is booked to run until at least May 2020.
"In the last six years I think the longest job I've had has been about five months ... so I'm enjoying just for a while being in regular employment," Mr Dickinson said.
"I've made some beautiful theatre and had some great TV gigs but they've been very short runs ... but my teaching developed during this time and I was really happy with that mixed palette of work between theatre, TV and teaching though it is great having a long term regular steady job."
Mr Dickinson has been teaching vocal technique to first year Fed Uni musical theatre students and while revelling in the wizard world misses nurturing and mentoring young actors.
Although not a massive Harry Potter fan before winning the role, he had seen most of the movies.
"It was great as part of this process to sit down and really mix it up - reading the books or listening to Steven Fry read the books or watching the movies again to absorb the whole world that is Harry Potter."
Mr Dickinson said he felt that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was the "biggest theatrical event" Australia had seen - having felt the same way about Beauty and the Beast when he was on the cast in 1995.
"It had the production values and expenses that the industry had never seen the likes of ... the same kind of illusion techniques are still being used today and some of the wonderful illusions and magic in Harry Potter are age-old techniques that create wonderful magic."
Ms LaBonte is also in the ensemble, playing a variety of supporting roles and understudy for Ginny Potter, Professor Minerva McGonagall and others.
"My brain is definitely filled with lots of different Harry Potter characters and it's a wonderful variety getting to play such a huge range of different characters within the show," she said.
Ms LaBonte spent three years living in Ballarat while she studied musical theatre at the University of Ballarat and it was during her time here she met her husband, fellow actor Bert LaBonte and her best friend who she now runs a theatre company with.
"Ballarat is such a wonderful town and such a great uni town too - a great place to study. I look back on those years with a lot of fondness and learning."
While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was in its preview season, Ms LaBonte walked out of the stage door and met some third year Ballarat musical theatre students.
"They said it's so wonderful to see you guys knowing you made it and you work," she said. "I know how important it is to see people succeed from places other than the more traditional training grounds of NIDA and the VCA," she said.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.