A Cup of Cheer with Jean Lyle Lepard of A Christmas Carol

Jean Lyle Lepard casts a spell every time she graces the stage in A Christmas Carol …or any show for that matter.  Many will remember her from last season’s Enchanted April as Rose.  She plays Mrs. Cratchit and does an extraordinary job in her role!  Enjoy her Cup of Cheer!

Don’t forget to get your tickets to Meadow Brook Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol running Nov 20 – Dec 23, 2010.  Call the box office at 248-377-3300 for tickets!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director



Jean Lyle Lepard captivates audiences as Mrs. Cratchit


A Cup of Cheer with Jean Lyle Lepard


How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol? This is my fourth: 3 as Mrs. C and once as a caroler.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season? The music–it seems to be the one time Americans sing together outside of sporting events.

What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol? Scrooge’s redemption, and other people’s willingness to accept him back into their society.

There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children? The wonder they have and how willing they are to go for the ride. Hearing the early audiences exclaim over the snow is so much fun!

Bob Cratchit asks Scrooge for “one more piece of coal” do you prefer your house to be “warm as toast”, “just right”, or “cold enough to hang meat”? Just right is just fine with me.

Scrooge promises to find Peter Cratchit a job and Martha almost misses Christmas dinner because she has to work … what kind of jobs did you have when you were young like Peter and Martha? I learned to assist my dad in his dental practice, then went to work with my older sister (she could drive) at a bird store.  My first job not working with family was at a drive-in up north. I learned to do a mean soft serve cone dipped in chocolate shell.

Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail? Do I have to choose?

Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift? Gifts, but there are times when money has certainly been a welcome gift!

Scrooge is visited by two charity men early in the show… have you done any charity work or are there charity organizations that you support? Yes, to both.

Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts? I don’t know; I like ghost stories, so I must to a degree.

If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life? I hope I would enjoy it. It would be interesting to visit some scenes with my siblings to see how our early memories jive.

Next project after A Christmas Carol? My den: it is rather like a bear pit, to borrow from Mary Poppins.

The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share? There are so many fond memories of family gatherings all through my life. I loved Grandpa going to the piano to make us sing for our supper–after the fact, of course. And we sang every verse.

The spread at the Fezziwig’s party is unbelievable…. what is your favorite holiday food? All of it!

Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year? It’s a happy tradition.  People like to visit friends at the holidays, and the show has become a dear friend to so many. I think the company feels the same good will toward this beautiful production that the audience does; so at the end of every performance, we’re a family of several hundred. And we have to come back the next year to see how the kids have grown…

What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol? That faith in the innate goodness of human nature is never misplaced, and joy is always waiting for us to learn to see it.

What is your favorite holiday? Easter

Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? If so what do you like to bake? Cinnamon rolls have become a recent tradition, but I love to bake the pies, the sweet potato biscuits –and I even have a really great recipe for fruit cake that Grandma Lyle gave me (the trick is folding in whipped egg whites to lighten the cake batter, and leaving out the citron- just because).

Finish this sentence: “My favorite gift that I ever received during the holiday season was______”

…—As a kid, a doll I got when I was 5 and the baking mixes that led from the tree to the chimney every year. As a teenager, the rocking chair I still have in my room. As a parent, every gift my daughter has made for me.”

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