This isn't something I'm actually planning... yet. Right now it is just an idea that has been dancing around in my brain. Let me explain.
I had a dream the other night ( a lot of stuff comes to me in dreams, the name of this company, for example) that Gina (Georgina Helene McDonald) who played Puck for me in Midsummer was playing Hamlet in a production I was directing. I mentioned this to her and she said she had always wanted to do an all-female Hamlet.
Hamlet is one of the greatest roles in theater. For about four hours one actor has to be the main focus of the audience's attention, letting them see his character's every emotion and struggle in a strange, twisted situation. Pulling it off proves that you are a serious actor.
There isn't really an equivalent for women, as far as I know. Lady M is a difficult-but-great female role but she doesn't get anywhere near the stage-time Hamlet does. Rosalind (from As You Like It) is the female Shakespeare character with the most lines and stage-time, but even she gets considerably less than Hamlet and has a lot less drama to deal with.
So, some groups have started doing all-female Hamlets, just as Shakespeare's original production would have been all-male.
Anyway, I'm toying with the idea. Would the male characters become breeches-roles or would everyone just be women (like some sort of dystopian Herland)? What if all the other characters were appropriate gender cast except for Hamlet? I could make Hamlet a woman, even more reason for Polonius not to want her messing with Ophelia.
What are your thoughts?