Founder, Producer, Artistic Director
Laura Attanasio has over 30 years of experience teaching theater to young people in non-profit agencies that include the YMCA and public schools in Minnesota, New York, and Connecticut.
After graduating from New York University’s, Tisch School of the Arts, Laura moved to Minnesota where she began employing her passion for theater as a means to fundamentally alter negative pre-conceptions of individuals not accepted into the mainstream of society.
Co-Founder of Interact Theater Company, Minneapolis, MN, Laura developed successful strategies integrating adults with developmental disabilities into professional, critically-acclaimed performance opportunities.
Laura then applied similar strategies when working with young people and created programming that was disseminated throughout Minnesota to cultivate self-empowerment and leadership skills among at-risk and vulnerable youth. Laura’s custom curriculum incorporates literature, history, and world affairs into stimulating movement-based theater designed to encourage our youth to prosper in school. She taught drama in the CT YMCA’s, directed high school productions for 3 years at Valley Regional High School in Essex and was the Drama Teacher for the New Haven Public Schools at Worthington Hooker Middle School for 7 years.
In 2006, Laura founded Kidz Konnection in Clinton Connecticut as a place to empower young people to become leaders through the performing arts. In 13 years, Laura has produced over 75 shows for ages ranging from 4 to adult. She continues to pursue her dream of providing a safe, happy environment for young thespians to gain self-empowerment by offering the widest range of arts opportunities on the shoreline.
Maria Teresa Lonetti
Resident Choreographer, Director of Productions
Maria Teresa Lonetti began performing at 3 years old at Dale Dance studio in East Haven Connecticut. Her first role was in kindergarten in The Grinch who Stole Christmas and has been performing ever since. She has over 32 years of experience in the performing arts with a focus on competitive dance and theater.
After graduating high school she studied theater at the American Musical Dramatic Academy and The New School and studied abroad at Santa Reperata in Florence, Italy. Maria studied dance under Lindsey Chambers (OBC Cats), Ramon Galdino (Broadway Cast Cats), and Harry Wooliver (OBC My Fair Lady). Maria also received professional training in stage combat, improvisational acting, Shakespeare, on camera acting, character development and advanced acting technique. She holds a degree in Theater and a Bachelors of Science in Liberal Arts with a focus in performing arts therapy.
Maria has always loved working with children and finds her passion in passing her theatrical knowledge onto the youth. She has worked as a Drama teacher at the Worthington Hooker School in New Haven and the Ezra Academy. She is also the head Xcel competitive gymnastics coach at Nutmeg Twisters in Guilford.
Maria joined Kidz Konnection in 2015 and has choreographed and directed several full-length productions as well teaching numerous dance and acting classes. She loves being at Kidz Konnection and in a theater environment where young and old actors are allowed to thrive. She is incredibly grateful to team up with Laura to create not only amazing shows, but also provide a home for people to expand their creative abilities.
“The academy is my happy place.”
Marketing & Social Media Intern/Adjunct Teaching Staff
Hayley Haggerty holds a B.A in Theatre and Creative Writing from Roger Williams University. Having started writing and acting with Kidz Konnection at a very young age, she is now thrilled to come back and teach students playwriting and creative writing herself, as well as assist Miss Laura with marketing and promotion.
A prolific writer and playwright, her plays include The Pirate, the Newsboy, the Witch, and the Princess, a play for young audiences (RWU Senior Playwriting Project 2019), In A Flash (Ghostlight Theatre Shoestring Theatre Festival 2019) Innumerable (Windham Theatre Guild), Farm Life 3.0 (Quarantine Bake-Off Challenge 2020) and Summer Magic (Queerantine Fringe Festival by Dysfunctioning Just Fine). She was also a finalist for the 2020 KCACTF Region 1 Gary Garrison National Ten-Minute Play Award and Windham Theatre Guild’s 2020 Here + There Playwriting Contest. A firm believer in accessibility in the arts for all, she has previously apprenticed with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston, MA, and with Goodspeed Musicals and HartBeat Ensemble in Hartford, CT. As she actively pursues a career in nonprofit and arts administration, she is overjoyed to rejoin Miss Laura and the rest of the Kidz Konnection team to teach and run their social medias. You can find Hayley online elsewhere at https://haggertyhayley.wixsite.com/home and her plays on the New Play Exchange at https://newplayexchange.org/users/4828/hayley-haggerty.
Check out Windham Theatre Guild’s 2020 Zoom production of Hayley’s play, Innumerable, here: https://youtu.be/OlrLOcBxrpg?t=2885.
- Stacie S. Mathews, Voice Coach
- James Norrie, Technical Director
- Dennis Dollahite, Set Designer
- Kathy Wilke, Costume Designer
- Hayley Haggerty, Marketing & Social Media Intern and Adjunct Teacher
- Alex Attanasio, Website and Social Media Manager
- Melissa Imossi, Visual Arts Teacher
- Alaina Attanasio, Assistant Improvisation Coach
- Sam Reed, Junior Counselor