Graeme Purcell: Mormon Performer
Graeme Isaako Purcell is a singer, dancer, and actor who performs in musical theatre. He has appeared in "The Lion King," sometimes in the role of Simba, and in Aladdin, as understudy for the roles of Aladdin, Razoul, and Babkak.
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he loved singing Primary songs when he was young. His mother took him to piano, singing, and dancing lessons and at the age of eleven, he performed throughout Australia in the musical “Oliver,” where he discovered theatre was his passion. Upon graduation from high school in 2006, he trained at the Sydney Urban Dance Centre where he earned a Certificate in Performing Arts. He placed in the top six of Australia’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” placing in the top three male dancers, and then toured with the show. He also landed the role of Nanki-poo in the Mikado Australian tour. He performed throughout Australia in a one-man cabaret show, Shakespearean idol.
After serving a two-year, full-time mission to Wellington, New Zealand for the Church, he was reluctant to go back to the stage, worried that the structure of the industry could change his commitment to the gospel. He made the decision after fasting and prayer, and after working for a year helping youth re-engage in school.
He and his wife, Rea, live close to wherever he performs in Australia. In an interview with Mormon Newsroom Australia, he said, “The gospel is who we are. My role as a performer is to help people heal, to escape, to find happiness, to question life, to be involved in wonderment and to dream. I try to connect with audience members, mostly with my eyes. As I endeavor to break down walls and make that connection, I feel my spirit communicate with theirs. There is almost no greater feeling to me than this. “