Quick Chat: Lauren Dochnahl

Posted August 30, 2022


If you have come to a show up the hill this season, you've definitely seen Lauren Dochnahl hard at work. Lauren is our exceptional Hill Theatre House Manager, and we're so thrilled she found the time to chat with us about what APT means to her. Read on for more in this week's Quick Chat.

APT: Hey, Lauren! How has the summer been going so far?
Lauren Dochnahl: It has been going super well! It is always inspiring to spend my summer in the woods at APT. Everyone is always in such amazing spirits and it is absolutely infectious!

APT: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey here at APT?
Lauren Dochnahl: When I was 16, a friend of mine (Bri Humke- hey Bri!) asked if I wanted to work on house staff that summer. I didn’t even realize it was a possibility to work at APT as a teenager, so I jumped on that opportunity right away. I interviewed, got hired, and worked that summer about as much as I could. That summer inspired me to make theater my life, so I decided to pursue a theater arts administration degree from UW-La Crosse (hi UWL theater family!). I graduated from that program this past May. Throughout the rest of my time in high school and college, I kept working summers on house staff at APT until last season when I was promoted to House Manager.

APT: For the folks who may not know, can you walk us through what it means to be House Manager?
Lauren Dochnahl: I always struggle with explaining what a House Manager does, because it really encompasses quite a lot of things! The best way that I can describe it is managing patron experience, so creating an overall welcoming & safe atmosphere for our patrons, listening to comments and concerns, and making sure that general front-of-house operations are going smoothly, which includes managing the staff that drives our amazing shuttles, directs traffic in the parking lot, and scans tickets at the entrance.

APT: What is the best part of your job? What is the most challenging?
Lauren Dochnahl: The absolute BEST part about my job is the people that surround me. This includes my staff, staff in other departments, and of course our patrons. Everyone who works here is so committed to making APT a magical experience, and I get to see that magic reflected in our patrons’ comments every day. It is a beautiful thing for me to know the hard work that goes into making APT happen and hearing the benefit of it at every show.
The most challenging… that’s a hard question. I think it would be balancing the schedules of 20 teenagers!!

APT: When not being epic and running the show here, what do you like to do in your free time?
Lauren Dochnahl: I love to sing, I love to dance (live music is my JAM); of course I am a big theater lover, so I love experiencing theater in other venues. I am a BIG animal lover too (although I don’t have any of my own); I hang out with my family’s pets: Teddy the goldendoodle, Ghost the English creme golden retriever, May the Siamese cat, and Jupiter the tuxedo cat! I also like to spend my time reading, catching up on the latest popular TV show, and listening to any and all types of music.

APT: WILD CARD QUESTION - If you had a time machine and could go back to see one performance of a show you’ve seen at APT, what would you see and why?
Lauren Dochnahl: Pericles, Prince of Tyre. This played at APT during the 2017 season, which was my second season. The play moved me so much that I got a quote from it tattooed on my arm! (Want to see it? Find me up the hill!) Honorable mentions: Cyrano de Bergerac (2017), Arcadia (2016), Measure for Measure (2018) , A Flea in Her Ear (2017), and The Mountaintop (2021). Two plays that I wish I saw: American Buffalo and The Syringa Tree.

APT: Anything else you’d like to add?
Lauren Dochnahl: Thanks so much for supporting APT, and I hope to see you up the hill soon!