Open Forum

Thoroughly Modern Millie

  • 1.  Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Posted 10-17-2019 07:20
    Hi Theater Folks- How have you dealt with the Chinese issue in TMM?  I'm interested in hearing if you changed the nationality/ethnicity/ region that Mrs. Meers uses as a disguise.  Publisher suggests that this would be fine.
    Many thanks- Lenore Grunko, Old Saybrook High School, CT

  • 2.  RE: Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Posted 10-18-2019 09:15
    My troupe co-director played it as written.  If you were to change it, what would that do to the joke with the sung and projected lyrics in the "Mammy" number? (We had a Chinese-born parent who volunteered to come into rehearsals and coach our kids' pronunciations.)

    Jeff Grove
    Theatre Teacher, Aesthetics Department Chair
    Stanton College Preparatory School
    Jacksonville FL

  • 3.  RE: Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Posted 10-21-2019 12:35
    It's actually on my list of never to do unless they change the racism. It's would not go over well in my school. Just my two cents.

    Bernadette MacLeod
    Charlotte NC

  • 4.  RE: Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Posted 10-21-2019 14:56
    This doesn't help in the immediate situation, but there is a production coming out next May with revisions by Lauren Yee. Maybe they will make that version available at some time. I was appalled by the high school production I saw, but I don't know the script, and maybe it's possible to avoid the blatant racism in that production.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 5.  RE: Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Posted 10-26-2019 07:19
    Even a tougher issue for us when we've considered this play has been sexual trafficking.  We are in the Atlanta suburbs and sexual trafficking is a huge problem in Atlanta, even in the Asian communities.  It has kept us from doing even the Jr version.  It's awful how many times I've seen this show and not made the connection until it was brought to my attention.  If we were a high school I think we'd have to address it head on.  Sorry, I know that's not your question.

    Valerie Scott
    Drama Teacher/Director
    Perimeter School
    Johns Creek, Ga

  • 6.  RE: Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Posted 02-13-2020 17:11
    For an upcoming article in Teaching Theatre, I'm wondering if anyone has successfully produced Millie in the past couple of years, and if so, would you be willing to speak with me or another writer (or chat via email) about how you navigated the cultural sensitivities with your students and/or community.

    Please email me at if you'd like to comment.


    Anita Martin
    Managing Editor of Publications
    Educational Theatre Association
    Cincinnati, OH