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
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!