Features People Uncategorized

Unified Theater Founder Leaves Spotlight

Micaela Connery (left) has handed over the reins of Unified Theater to Laura McLelland (right). Photo credit: Todd Fairchild.

West Hartford’s Micaela Connery, who began Unified Theater more than a decade ago, will attend graduate school at Harvard.

By Elyssa Millspaugh

Unified Theater – an inclusion organization that dissolves typical barriers between youth and puts the spotlight on ability through transformative, school-based performing arts programming – recently hosted a celebration to acknowledge the vision, dedication and inspiration of its founder, Micaela Connery, and welcome its new leader, Laura McLelland.  The announcement was made during the nonprofit’s ‘Spotlight Celebration’ at Bushnell Park.

Inspired by her cousin Kelsey, Connery began Unified Theater in 2002 as a 15-year-old Conard High School sophomore. With an energetic team paving the way, Unified Theater has grown from a single high school to more than 60 schools in 6 states. Fueled by creativity, passion, and the generous support of foundations, corporations and private donors, Unified Theater continues to grow.

Connery will continue to support Unified Theater as a strategic advisor as she pursues a degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard. “I’m so proud of where Unified Theater is and excited to see what the future will bring under the leadership of someone as smart, dedicated, and passionate as Laura.  She has a strategic vision for where Unified Theater is going and the future looks bright!”  

McLelland, who previously served as Unified Theater’s Chief Program Officer, has been instrumental in leading Unified Theater into its next phase of growth. McLelland brings over 10 years of organizational development experience to her new role.

As CEO, McLelland will be responsible for leading all aspects of Unified Theater’s strategic and operational management including human resources, programs, expansion, branding, technology, fundraising, community relations, partnerships and finances.

“I’m proud to lead this vibrant, youth-driven organization and am so pleased Micaela will continue to share her time and talents as an advisor,” McLelland said. “This is an exciting time for Unified Theater and I look forward to continuing to spread our message of student leadership, creativity, and inclusion across the country.”

In addition to celebrating Connery’s success founding and leading Unified Theater and announcing McLelland’s new role, Unified Theater’s ‘Spotlight Celebration’ featured a performance by 75 program participants from West Hartford’s Conard and Hall High Schools and the presentation of an award to the West Hartford Public Schools.

“West Hartford schools are where this dream began,” Connery said. “It was only fitting to have the schools that incubated Unified Theater share the spotlight as the organization begins its next chapter.”

Unified Theater is located at 15 Lewis Street, Hartford, CT 06103. For more information, please visit www.unifiedtheater.org or call 860.559.3810.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Translate »