EDGEWATER, N.J. — Bob Rotay of Edgewater had only three things to do: cook dinner, take out the trash and write a play.
It was 2013 and the Michigan engineer’s then-12-year-old daughter, Rachel, had just finished another musical composition, and Rotay’s wife, Susan, wanted to see it come to life.
Fast forward two years and the family’s work — “Glockcoma,” starring Loni Ackerman of Broadway’s “Cats” — is running in the Midtown Theater Festival.
“I learned a lot of practical things as an engineer that have lent themselves well to writing a play,” said Rotay, a diagnostics engineer for General Motors staying in Edgewater while the play runs in New York.
“Engineers always understand the scope and boundary of a project. “And a play is a product of design with scope,” he explained.
First thing Rotay did was Google “how to write a play.” After 20 unhelpful minutes, he said, the engineer got to work.
He began by adopting the metaphors found in the lyrics and constructing a story.
“Smiling faces fill the spaces left behind broken frames forgotten names as time goes by.” — Turning Pages, Rachel Rotay.
"Glockcoma" zooms the lens back on the life of an elderly yet talented woman living alone in a New York City apartment who examines her life as it comes to a close. Those who’ve read the script do the same in turn.
“Who goes to New York and drops $1,000 on plays?” Rotary asked. “Fifty to 70-year-olds and this means more to them than someone who’s 20."
The show will also run in the New York New Works Theatre Festival at the end of August.
“The play is very reflective,” he said. “From what i’ve been told you think about yourself and you think about others and I think that’s good.”
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