Young actor chops hair, donates to Locks of Love

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AUBURN — A few weeks ago, Madeleine Vaillancourt looked exactly like a 10-year-old girl with long blonde hair. In fact, this past summer she was cast in the title role in Community Little Theatre’s Summer Youth Musical-Theatre Project’s production of “Annie, Jr.”

Soon after, she landed the coveted role of the young orphan boy, Oliver Twist, in CLT’s 75th season opener, the Lionel Bart musical “Oliver!”

With such a role, a girl had to make some sacrifices. First she gave up all of her free time for 10 weeks while preparing for the show, which opened Oct. 10. Next she gave up her long, golden hair.

With the help of professional Lewiston hairdresser Marie LeBlanc, the permission of her parents, Scott and Linda Vaillancourt, and with her younger sister and brother and several member of the cast looking on, Madeleine lost at least 10 inches of her beautiful mane.

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Though the sacrifice brought a slight tear or two to her eyes, she realized it was for the good of the show, and for an even greater cause. Her severed pony-tail has been donated to Locks of Love.

Locks of Love is a public nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 who suffer from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

Community Little Theatre’s production of “Oliver!” is partnering with both Locks of Love in Maine and Safe Voices, a local nonprofit that supports and empowers those affected by domestic violence and engages the community in creating social change in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties. There are themes throughout the musical’s plot, based on the Charles Dickens novel, which draw attention to the plight of children and victims of domestic violence.

Both agencies will have lobby displays during the show, which runs through Oct. 19, at Great Falls Performing Arts Center, 30 Academy St. For tickets, call 783-0958, go to www.LACLT.com or visit the box office.

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