From Broadway to West End: 5 Mormon Theater Stars and How They Stand for Their Faith

Patrice Arkins

A mother, Latter-day Saint, and leading lady. Without a doubt, Patrice Tipoki Arkins keeps herself busy pursuing her talents while building her family and faith.

After starring as Nala in The Lion King, Maria in West Side Story, and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Arkins landed the sought-after role of Elphaba in the original Australian cast of the Broadway musical Wicked. 

About playing this "powerhouse role," Arkins told the Deseret News "[it] definitely lets you know you're alive. . . . When I first began performing Elphaba it was the most exhausting and exhilarating thing I'd ever done!"

And it was during this same time that Arkins decided to expand her family. "I performed Elphaba until I was almost six months pregnant and then decided it was time to hang up my broomstick for a while," she told the Deseret News, as she began what she calls her "favorite role yet—that of Mum!"

But expanding her family didn't stop Arkins' musical theater career. More recently she has starred as Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Fantine in Les Miserables—a role that earned her a Helpmann Award and took her to London's West End.

Arkins credits her faith for helping her stay balanced through so many shows and performances. "There are a lot of things I tell myself before a show," she told omika.com. "There's always lots of prayers."

"In an industry where my standards aren't the norm, I'm very conscious of my choices and try to do shows my Heavenly Father would be proud of," Arkins told the Deseret News. "When I was younger, I found I was often being challenged to lower my standards regarding what I would sing about and wear in order to make money and be noticed. Lately, the challenge is being required to tour and be away from my family. When I did Wicked, it was in Melbourne and my husband was required to stay in Sydney where he was studying full-time and also serving as Bishop."

Recently, Arkins starred in this touching Christmas video, sharing her testimony of the birth of our Savior:

Despite the challenges and the conflicts that often come into a life of a performer, Arkins has learned that "no matter what you do for a living, if you can remember [to put the Lord's will first] you'll be all the better for it."

Image title"Son of God" is featured on Paul Cardall's latest CD, A New Creation, which takes listeners on a spiritual journey from the creation of the world to the ultimate salvation of mankind and features a new song written by Elder David A. Bednar.

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