Our History

Organization History

In 1983, a group of Oconto residents had a dream of brining live theater to the area, and The Machickanee Players was born. In the beginning, we had no venue to call our own; we were a traveling theater company. Our first production, M*A*S*H, was performed to sold-out audiences. We hosted our first dinner theater production with Plaza Suite during our 2nd season.

In our 5th season, we acquired our current home, the Park Avenue Playhouse. Constructed in 1866, the building originally served as St. Mark's Episcopal Church Hall, and is currently on the National and State Register of Historic Buildings. However, due to inadequate insulation, winter plays continued to be held at Oconto High Shool's John B. LeMay Auditorium until the 13th season.

We broke attendance records in our 15th season with our first musical production, Nunsense. Additional musicals followed, in addition to one-act plays, children's productions, and more than a half dozen original plays written and directed by the local playwright Kathy Campshure.

We typically stage three to four productions each year. Join us for our budget-friendly Friday performances, enjoy a fine catered meal from River City Diner and Smokehouse prior to our Saturday performances, or enjoy award-winning pie from OJ's Midtown Restaurant at our Sunday matinees.

Production History

Season 39 (2021-2022): The Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Trinity Victory Church; Cloak and Dagger
Season 38 (2020-2021): Season Canceled Due to Pandemic
Season 37 (2019-2020): First Things First; Farndale Avenue […] Presents… a Murder Mystery
Season 36 (2018-2019): And Then There Were None; Monty's Magic Christmas Show; The Hopeful Hearts Dating Club of Oconto; Guess Who's Coming to Supper
Season 35 (2017-2018): The Case of the Fatal Farewell; A Wizard's Christmas; Insane with Power; Wedding Belles
Season 34 (2016-2017): Murder Me, Murder Me Not; Harvey; The Odd Couple
Season 33 (2015-2016): Dearly Beloved; With This Ring; Two Comedies
Season 32 (2014-2015): Woman in Black; Lizzie Borden of Fall River; Thanksgiving on Serendipity Lane
Season 31 (2013-2014): High Ground; Bull in a China Shop
Season 30 (2012-2013): Here We Sit; Tally Up; Let's Murder Marsha; The Drunkard
Season 29 (2011-2012): The Speckled Band; The Lottie and Bernice Show; The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Season 28 (2010-2011): No One Will Hear You Scream; The Butler Did It; Saving Grace
Season 27 (2009-2010): Who's On First?; Murder on the Rerun; Spirit
Season 26 (2008-2009): Catch Me If You Can; Dead Giveaway; God's Favorite
Season 25 (2007-2008): Lend Me a Tenor; Complete History of America; Big Bucks
Season 24 (2006-2007): Lost in Yonkers; Good Help Is So Hard to Murder; The Book of Murder
Season 23 (2005-2006): Farndale Avenue […] Presents... A Christmas Carol; Crossing Delancey; Jake's Women
Season 22 (2004-2005): A Party to Murder; Bleacher Bums; Farndale Avenue […] Presents… a Murder Mystery
Season 21 (2003-2004): The Perfect Murder; Reserve Two for Murder; I Take This Man
Season 20 (2002-2003): Ten Little Indians; Lunch Hour; No Mother to Guide Her
Season 19 (2001-2002): The Hobbit; To Anna with Love; 1940s Radio Hour
Season 18 (2000-2001): Arsenic and Old Lace; Once Upon a Mattress; 100 Lunches
Season 17 (1999-2000): Sylvia; Murder by Natural Causes; Later Life; Coping
Season 16 (1998-1999): Halloween Screams; London Suite; The Truth About Cinderella; Cookin' With Gus
Season 15 (1997-1998): Diggin' Up Dirt; Clandestine on the Morning Line; Nunsense
Season 14 (1996-1997): Murder at the Howard Johnson’s; Waiting for Mr. Howard; Rumors
Season 13 (1995-1996): Anybody for Murder?; Close Encounters of the Third Grade; The Stenford Place; The Prince Who Wouldn't Talk
Season 12 (1994-1995): Murder by Misadventure; The Cemetery Club; Playing Doctor
Season 11 (1993-1994): The Subject was Roses; Asleep on the Wind; Musical Comedy Murders of 1940; Adamantine; Dear Mrs. Martin; Graceland
Season 10 (1992-1993): Barefoot in the Park; The Odd Couple; 12 Angry People
Season 9 (1991-1992): Our Town; Blithe Spirit; Lie, Cheat, and Genuflect
Season 8 (1990-1991): Steel Magnolias; Love Letters; Love, Sex, and the IRS
Season 7 (1989-1990): The Legacy; Popcorn; Wait Until Dark; How the Other Half Loves; Next; The Marriage Proposal
Season 6 (1988-1989): Close Ties; The Sunshine Boys; Rehearsals for Murder
Season 5 (1987-1988): Send Me No Flowers; Squabbles; Chapter Two; Play On
Season 4 (1986-1987): Trifles; Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn; Playboy of the Western World; You Can't Take It With You; Who Am I This Time?; Bea, Frank, Ritchie, and Joan
Season 3 (1985-1986): Crimes of the Heart; The Odd Couple; Harvey; Bus Stop
Season 2 (1984-1985): Plaza Suite; Last of the Red Hot Lovers; The Good Doctor; Dirty Works in High Places
Season 1 (1983-1984): M*A*S*H; The Mousetrap