GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – With fall just around the corner, another season has started for our Northeastern Wisconsin performing talent.

This year will be different for them in more ways than one.

The major change has to do with the pandemic.

COVID-19 concerns linger, but performance groups are approaching the season with less fear than the last two years.

Also, activity level seems to be in full swing.

Different in the early season is a theme of social consciousness that arose in some live productions during the pandemic.

There was a liberating aura in online productions by professional theaters and universities in the region.

Just one example: “Sunset Baby,” the story of the cost of commitment, including Lachrisa Grandberry unleashing the dark side of her acting range – and wholly different than her roles with Northern Sky Theater.

Churn in society has been surfacing on stages, and seems to be continuing.

In Oshkosh, Vintage Theatre is emphasizing diversity in its casting of the William Shakespeare comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” arriving this week.

Artistic director Michael J. Laskowski also promises an aura of steampunk, which draws from science fiction.

In Tisch Mills, a woman has the key role of the Emcee in the famed, saucy musical “Cabaret” in its production running to Oct. 2.

The Forst Inn Arts Collective also will continue its habit of being inclusive in its casting.

The Weidner Philharmonic will focus on living women composers in its first concert of the season Sept. 24 in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Performer and author Lachrisa Granberry is teaming with veteran director Molly Rhode and others for a world premiere at Northern Sky Theater in Door County.

The musical “Sunflowered” is all women all the time for 49 performances in the company’s Gould Theatre near Egg Harbor.

Green Bay Community Theater is inclusive its casting for the wild Neil Simon comedy “Rumors” that runs Sept. 15 to 25.

Door County’s professional Peninsula Players Theatre has unleashed another wild comedy with “Murder for Two” to close its different, “economy-size” season.

Always different, Green Bay’s Let Me Be Frank Productions is taking its new comedy musical “The Manitowoc Munsters” to three venues – in Green Bay, Manitowoc and Waubeno.

How about the very different make-up job for troupe namesake Frank Hermans in the lower right corner of the photo above?

In De Pere, roller skating – something different for the stage – is part of the Birder Players production of “Xanadu,” which stirs fond memories of the singing and songwriting of the beloved Olivia Newton-John.

By coincidence, the Birder Players production opened within a month of her passing – again, something different.