Big Dreams On The Big Stage 2

Lakota Grad David Baur In The National Spotlight

It has been seven years since David Baur left West Chester for New York City to pursue a career in theater. Since then, the Lakota East graduate has gone on to perform in some of the most well-known shows and musicals to ever grace the stage, including Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, and countless others. However, there’s more than just Broadway fame on the mind of this West Chester native.

It wasn’t always about theater for Baur. His childhood activities gave him a solid foundation for performing.

“My interests as a child centered around whatever my sisters were into. I got involved because I was dragged to whatever they were doing,” Baur laughs.

This included everything from tap dance classes to competitive gymnastics, which was his first true passion. Beginning at just nine years old, Baur took gymnastics lessons at Kristi’s Tumbling & Trampoline across from Lakota East. By the time he reached high school, Baur was ready to explore his inner performer even more. That’s when he found theater.

During his junior year, Baur was cast in Lakota East’s performance of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and was bit by the theater bug. As a senior, being part of the quartet in The Music Man solidified his love for theater and gave him the confidence to pursue theater as a career.

After graduating in 2005, Baur attended Wright State University as a Theater Studies major and performed in Annie Get Your Gun, Grease, Aida and West Side Story.

“I always enjoyed the more creative and athletic side of education,” Baur explains. “I felt such a boost in confidence being on stage. I knew I wanted to follow this same direction after college.”

After graduating in 2009, Baur performed on a cruise line and then headed to New York in 2010 to find his spot on the big stage. Baur has built quite the resume, having acted and danced off-Broadway in both national and regional tours, including the National tour of Beauty and the Beast, where he played the tumbling carpet and understudied Lefou. He also performed on the regional tours of The Wizard of Oz and White Christmas.

Since arriving in The Big Apple, Baur’s had the opportunity to work with Tony Award®-winners like Karen Ziemba (who won Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 2000 for her performance in Contact) when they performed together in Hello Dolly at the Drury Theater in Chicago.

Even more impressive than all this success is Baur’s resolve to stay humble and give back.

“There is a strength in kindness and easygoingness that I learned growing up in the Midwest which sets me apart from a lot of other people trying to make it in this business,” Baur reflects.

Baur gives credit to his family and upbringing for helping him stay grounded, but this hasn’t wavered his confidence. “We tend to shy away from things that we are good at, trying to be modest, but now is my time and I’ve come to own it,” Baur says.

He credits the drive to give back to those in need as a major proponent for his success in a current project: Broadway Bares, a burlesque style dance-focused show that’s raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS charity. Baur has helped raise more than $3,000 and his group and recent performances at the Hammerstein ballroom in Manhattan have raised more than $1.5 million.

Baur reflects, “It was an empowering moment realizing that doing what I love also gives me the ability to help so many others.”

Up next for this rising star is possibly working as a stunt double. Baur says he wants to tap into his gymnastics background in order to break into the stunt business.

“My dream would be to do some sort of trampoline jump or flip, flying over a car in an action scene for TV or a commercial,” Baur says.

So whether it’s theater or stunts, the adrenaline rush continues for this West Chester native. His advice for others looking to follow a similar path? “Continue to tell yourself that you are enough,” Baur says. “That is especially important in this industry because so many people will tell you ‘no.’”