I'll keep this brief as I assume you didn't come here for the Directors note, and if you did, that's silly! I love this show. When Mandi Lee, my wife, first broached the idea of me directing an all female 12th Night, I initially balked. It was an all-female show after all. Then Mandi explained why she wanted to do this show. She wanted to give the opportunity to female actors, we shared the same theatrical and Shakespearean vocabulary, the all-male production had a female director, and she wanted to play with breaking down gender roles. She didn't want to let gender dictate any decision. It was a play exploring the fragility of gender and assumed gender roles. It seemed counter-productive to make a staffing decision based on a gender role. This production was all about breaking down walls and after we spoke for a while, we knew we were on the same page, and I was on board! Plus I would do it for free.
For me, 12th Night is a play about subverting expectations. Viola says "I am not what I am." That is true for every character in this play. Uptight blow hards risk it all for love, selfish drunks protect their friends, and sometimes boys are actually girls. These characters are ultimately defined by their actions, not the way people perceive them. I just feel lucky that I had a cast willing to explore that idea and play with me. All of the actors have poured their hearts into this show. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work and play with them. Our cast, a mixture of students and professional, Shakespearean veterans and newbies, have come in willing to play and work hard. What can I say but "I can no answer make but thank, and thanks, and ever thanks.