The Creative Team-Jesse James DEAD OR ALIVE

BRIAN KATONA (Composer/Lyricist)

Brian Katona, DMA, is a composer, pianist and musical director of musical theatre and classical/choral music. Brian’s compositions and arrangements have been performed in Los Angeles, New York, the Aspen Music Festival, and appeared on television and in films. He is a member of the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and his brass and orchestral music is published with Imagine Music Company in NYC. Brian’s original musical, Jesse James DEAD OR ALIVE, has been developed at the Workshop Theatre Company in NYC. Selections from ‘Dead or Alive’ were recently presented at New York's Golden Fleece Composers Chamber Theatre Series. 

Currently Brian is collaborating with Jerrod Bogard on an as-yet-undisclosed new musical.  He is also collaborating with lyricist/librettist Barry Harman on the new musical EMPRESS. Selections were recently performed by Broadway’s Alison Fraser in concert with the Trenton Symphony Orchestra. Brian is the music supervisor/vocal arranger for Amazing Sex, the new musical (Harman & Herrman).  Additional projects include: copyist/transcriber for the new Dreamworks animated film, LIDSVILLE (lyrics by Glenn Slater, music by Alan Menken), and for the new musical, BLACK BEAUTY (Harman & Sommer).

Brian has performed internationally as a conductor and pianist, including appearances in Berlin, Venlo, Utrecht, Lucca, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and New York. Brian’s ensembles have performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. His work has been heard at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He performed as a keyboardist for the national tour of Guys and Dolls, in addition to numerous other shows.

As his alter-ego, Dr. Katona, Brian is an Associate Conductor at the Trenton Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey Repertory Orchestra. Dr. Katona also educates the musicians of the future as a professor at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of Music. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, BMI Inc., League of American Orchestras, the American Federation of Musicians, the Directory Of Contemporary Musical Theater, and the ?WorkShop Theater Company in Manhattan, where he has served as musical director for classes and productions.

Travis Ferguson (Book)

Bookwriter and lyricist of the sold-out, award-winning musical THE LEGEND OF JULIE TAYMOR or the Musical That Killed Everybody! which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2011. Following its acclaim, the hit show was selected and as part of the FringeNYC encores series. Travis is a graduate of NYU Tisch, with a degree in Cinema Studies and a minor in Producing for Theatre. He is an aspiring playwright and lyricist, and has written several screenplays, songs, and various theatre pieces. In 2010, Travis co-developed the popular "Be A Broadway Star" board game with Broadway Producer Ken Davenport which has sold thousands of copies in stores and online, and was feature on The Today Show. Travis currently works for and the Jerome Robbins Foundation. 

Steven Petrillo (Director)

Steven Petrillo's various directorial credits Off Broadway or Regional include productions of A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING; LIFE x3; LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR; SESSIONS; ROUTE 66; FIDDLER ON THE ROOF; LOVE VALOUR! COMPASSION!; and RUMORS, among others. As an associate/assistant director:CHESS, CRAZY FOR YOU, ME & MY GIRL, HIGH SOCIETY, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and KISS ME KATE, at various theaters including The
North Shore Music Theatre, Westchester Broadway Theatre, The North Carolina Theatre, T.U.T.S., The La Mirada Theatre, and Seattle’s Fifth Ave Theatre. Steven has performed on Broadway and various National Tours, as well as TV, Commercials, and Film.

Mr. Petrillo is Director of Musical Theater Development at The WorkShop Theater Company (TWC) in midtown Manhattan, where he offers classes for Singers and Actors, The Musical Theater GYM, to work on audition material; helms a Musical Writers WorkShop for Composers, Lyricists and Book Writers to develop original works; and facilitates a monthly reading series for New Musicals to ‘WorkShop’ in front of a live audience. Visit