The Z’s Creative Classroom offers performing arts classes to learners of all ages and abilities in a variety of mediums. It’s a safe and inviting space for all to explore their curiosity and interest in the performing arts. This year, as the theater undergoes renovations, The Z’s Creative Classroom is on the road, offering classes in locations throughout the city. To lead these classes, we’ve selected the top teachers, performers, and artists in the Southcoast.
The arts are a powerful tool that deepen our connection to the world and can reveal new ways to see it, that's why we aim to make Creative Classroom as accessible as possible. We are also committed to paying our teaching artists a living wage. You will find this commitment reflected in the cost of each class.
Emmanuel “Manny” Escobar is a dynamic musician and educator, with roots firmly planted in Jazz, R&B and Afro-Latin creative traditions. He is a graduate of the Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory at Merit School of Music and Berklee College of Music and studied under Jan Berry Baker at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Emmanuel has performed and recorded with; Esperanza Spaulding, Reggie Workman, Loren Allred, Mayra Andrade, Pentatonix, Thaddeus Hogarth, Louis Cato, Roberta Miranda, Jermaine Paul, Cesaria Evora Orchestra, Grace Evora, Mika Mendes, Boy Ge Mendes, Tito Paris, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Emmanuel is an endorsing educator for Cannonball Musical Instruments, Rigotti Reeds and Syos Mouthpieces, a signed performing artist with Nightshift Entertainment - New England, adjunct faculty at Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, and Music Director at Providence Country Day School.
Garrett Olson is a professional working actor, director, screenwriter, film maker, and seasoned fight director/stunt coordinator for stage and screen. He is currently the Technical Director and Associate Artistic Director for the WatermelonAlligator Theatre Company, co-founder and one of the managing/creative producers for Danu Pictures, and is the former Technical Director/acting coach for the Boston Zombie Apocalypse. An accomplished teaching artist and combatant instructor, Garrett’s classes in public speaking, acting, staged violence, and improv are crafted for students of all levels and abilities. Classes include adaptive programs to accommodate all abilities creating a truly immersive and inclusive opportunity for learning and growth.
Born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, “Candida Rose” Baptista is a 2nd generation American-born Cape Verdean. She is a vocalist, songwriter, entertainer, music and cultural educator, as well as a mother and grandmother. Her 10-song debut CD entitled “KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me”, combines her Cape Verdean musical roots with her American (primarily jazz) influences, a mixture she calls “KabuJazz”. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, specializing in African-American/World music performance and African-American Studies. She earned her Masters of Science from UMASS Boston in Transnational, Cultural, and Community Studies (now known as Critical Ethnic and Community Studies). Through her company Golden Rose Music, Candida spends her days traveling throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island as a Life Enrichment Entertainer singing for Nursing Homes, Assisted Living and Adult Day Care facilities, as well as for various senior groups and associations.
Geovanny is the Community Relations Specialist for the City of New Bedford, serves on the Board of Directors for the Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford, and was Chair of the 2023 MLK Day Planning Committee. He has taught Cape Verdean dance styles at Our Lady of Assumption Church and The Zeiterion’s Decades Dance Party.
Deb picked up her first ukulele and instantly fell in love with this small but mighty instrument. Her passion for the ukulele led her to become one of the few New England teachers certified by the prestigious James Hill Ukulele Instructor Institute. A lifelong music lover, she also directs a ukulele band and has studied with musicians both local and international.
Jess Wilson is a former C-level executive leader with extensive experience as an actor, tech, designer, producer, playwright, and director, and is the Artistic and Managing Director of the WatermelonAlligator Theatre Company. An experienced actor-combatant, she also works as an Intimacy Director, Fight Captain, and Safety Coordinator for stage and film. Jess is an accomplished author, consultant, executive coach, teaching artist, and speaker who conducts classes and workshops on writing, public speaking, leadership skills, and a wide range of theatre disciplines, and frequently speaks across the country on a variety of healthcare, leadership, and humanitarian topics.
Sue Young’s passion for dance started at just 6 years old when her mom signed her up for dance classes, laying the groundwork for a lifelong love of dance. She has studied under a diversified group of instructors and is experienced in ballet, jazz, tap, Irish Step, Latin, swing and ballroom. After recuperating from open heart surgery in 2012, she returned to teaching and became The Z’s Salsa instructor in 2016. But Sue doesn’t just stay in the classroom, she’s also a Zeiterion Volunteer Usher!
If you have any questions regarding any of our classes please contact our
Director of Education and Community
We want to hear it! We welcome suggestions for classes or workshops from teaching artists and instructors.
You will be emailed the link to participate as soon as you enroll. To ensure you receive this link, we suggest enrolling in one class at a time. Please use an active email address and be sure to check spam folders.
The virtual classroom will open 30 minutes before the start of class using Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account, but you will need to download the free app prior to the start of class. You can find it in the app store or visit zoom.us to download.