Bright lights have shone on the Australian Musical Theatre Festival with its internationally acclaimed headliners announced.
Simon Gleeson, Natalie O'Donnell and Callum Francis will bring their plethora of experience to Launceston in May for the annual event.
Gleeson is best known for his starring role as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, but has also appeared in musicals such as Oklahoma, Chess, and Love Never Dies.
O'Donnell has starred in Spelling Bee, Crazy for You, Jerry Girls, and has acted as both Sophie and Donna in Mamma Mia.
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O'Donnell said she and Gleeson were thrilled to be a part of the 2021 festival.
"To be a part of this national festival which not only celebrates and highlights Australian works, stories and professional artists, but also invests in young performers and our future stars, is truly exciting," she said.
Francis was chosen personally by composer Cyndi Lauper for Lola in Kinky Boots, and has also acted in Miss Saigon, The Lion King and Rent.
Francis said it would be a joy to bring life back to live theatre again.
"Art is so important for telling stories and allowing us to learn about how other people are and live. I can't wait to share my experiences and learn from the new ones this festival offers," he said.
The three talents will join a host of industry heavyweights to celebrate musical theatre in Launceston, throughout the national festival.
Festival executive producer Tyran Parke said to have all three talents performing and collaborating for the festival was nothing short of a miracle.
"Each are wonderful singers who are rarely seen outside of big commercial musicals in Melbourne and Sydney, each are passionate educators, and each are committed to finding new ways of exploring musical theatre in Australia, while celebrating the rich history of what has been," he said.
"The festival will be a meeting place to develop new work, celebrate the classics and engage in local Launceston culture, through the elements of musical theatre - song, dance and story."
Festival artistic director John Xintavelonis shared Mr Parke's excitement.
"What a great opportunity for our local performers to get to know, learn and be inspired by some of the best in the business," Xintavelonis said.
The festival will include classes for all ages and abilities, teacher's development programs and a host of performances, panels and concerts across five days.
It will run in Launceston from May 19 to 23, with the school program already released at amtf.org.au.
The full program will be released at the end of February.
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