Our team

Liz O’Neill
Chief Executive / Artistic Director

Gary Padden
General Manager

Saskia Metcalf
Creative Development Manager

Zoe Pickering
Children’s Theatre Programme
& Big Imaginations Manager

Tiffany Bowman
Administration Officer

Gill Balfour
Assistant Creative Manager

Gemma Rooke
Development Manager

Jamie Bryan
Digital Marketing

Emma Hardman
House Manager
Lowri Jones
Deputy Front of House Manager
& Box Office Manager
Paul Roberts
Ticketing & Information
Julie Ridley
Ticketing & Information Assistant
Chris Machin
Facilities Manager

Lauren Davidson
Booking & Admins Officer

Yemi Bolatiwa
Engagement Officer &
Volunteer Coordinator
Natasha Scott
Resident Performance Artist
& Coordinator
Steve Curtis
Technical & Premises Director
Jason Hall
Senior Technician
Holly Sharp
Communications and
Producing Assistant


Our facilitators:

Helena (Cheer Stars)

Hi! My names Helena and I teach Cheer Stars at Z-arts. I have been dancing for most of my life and along the way trained in acrobatics and cheerleading. A proud point in my life was representing Team England at the World Cheerleading Championships in 2017. Fun fact: I love handstands and think I’m better on my hands than my feet!

Jana (Drama Stars 6-8, 8-10, ZYP)

I’m Jana! I run Drama Stars for 6-8 year olds and 9-10 year olds, and ZYP for older young people. I have great people skills – theatre and clown training comes in handy, and comedy is a great universal language! I have worked as an Artist, producer and freelance creative facilitator since 2005, both in Manchester and New York, and I love what I do.

Kirsty (Digital Discoverers)

Hi, I’m Kirsty! I’m an artist and creative facilitator, and I run Digital Discoverers at Z-arts. I love making, painting, creating and helping others do it too! Toni-Dee (Drama Stars 4-6, 7-10)

Toni-Dee (Drama Stars 4-6, 7-10)

Hi! I’m Toni-Dee. I’m a theatre-maker, writer and performance artist based in Manchester. I make work about personal identity, sharing wealth and body politics that is playful and collaborative. I teach the Saturday Drama Stars sessions for 4-6 year olds and 7-10 year olds.

Yemi (Pop Stars)

I’m Yemi Bolatiwa, and I’m a soul singer in Manchester. I have residencies in some of the city’s best loved venues, festivals around the UK, and I’ve featured on BBC Introducing, I run Pop Stars at Z-arts, and I bring my musical experience to share with the young people at Z-arts!