Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1029; CD-121; DVD-149; T-564; Vt-322

Papers of the Soloway family, 1956-2020

Overview

Scripts, drafts, production records and other papers of musician and comedian Faith Soloway; film and television writer and director Joey Soloway; and diaries of their mother Elaine Soloway.

Dates

  • 1956-2020

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Researchers must obtain written permission of both Faith Soloway and Joey Soloway in order to use the collection until January 1, 2029.

Some material (Series V, part of Series IV) is closed until processed.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Faith Soloway is held by Faith Soloway. Copyright in the papers held by Joey Soloway is held by Joey Soloway. Upon their deaths, copyright will transfer to their heirs. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Permission for access does not include permission to copy, which must be sought separately from Faith Soloway and Joey Soloway until January 1, 2029.

Extent

36.09 linear feet ((27 cartons, 6 + 1/2 file boxes, 2 folio boxes, 2 folio+ boxes, 1 oversize box) plus 1 supersize folder, 6 photograph folders, 8 audiotapes, 5 videotapes, 3 CDs, 12 DVDs, 4 objects, electronic records)
The Soloway family papers document Joey and Faith Soloway's creative work as comedians, writers, and playwrights, and contains scripts, song lyrics, posters, drafts, television production files, photographs, awards, diaries, and audiovisual materials. The papers also contain their mother Elaine Soloway's diaries, kept daily from 2003 to 2011.

Some material in Series I (and related audiovisual material) was brought to the Schlesinger Library directly from Faith Soloway's house in Brookline, Massachusetts, in September 2019; other material was sent from Los Angeles in January 2020. Material in Series II (and related audiovisual material) was sent from Joey Soloway's office in Los Angeles in 2019 and 2020. Material in Series III was sent from Los Angeles in December 2019. Some of this material was housed in folders when it arrived at the Library; these original folder and titles were maintained. A good amount of material, especially relating to television productions, arrived in binders; this material was transferred to acid-free folders. All other material that arrived loose has been housed in acid-free folders. Original titles are maintained in the inventory; titles in brackets were created by the archivist. After Joey Soloway's name change in June 2020, finding aid description and series titles were updated. Many original folder titles contain the name Jill; these were kept as originally written.

Series I, FAITH SOLOWAY, 1976-2019, includes song lyrics, scripts, awards, journal entries, and memorabilia. Faith Soloway's handwritten and typed song lyrics, and several scripts for rock (or "schlock") operas are included. Program booklets for the Charles River Creative Arts Program document Faith Soloway's work with youth, and several scripts from that program are also included. Material is loosely listed in the inventory with awards and clippings followed by personal papers, then creative work by title. For photographs of Faith Soloway, see Series IV; audiovisual documentation of Faith Soloway's work can be found in Series V.

Series II, JOEY SOLOWAY, 1981-2020, includes notes, drafts, awards, publicity materials, scripts, television production files, and posters. Joey Soloway's work as a creator, director, and producer on the television shows Transparent and I Love Dick is heavily documented through scripts, production files, and press clippings. Drafts of Joey Soloway's memoir, She Wants It, and some records of Joey Soloway's production company, Topple Productions, are also included. Notebooks found in this series are bound volumes with notes that are about writing or specific scripts or characters. These may include personal notes and journal-like writing. Journals are primarily introspective writing, although some may include notes for writing or general life notes. Material is loosely listed in the inventory with awards and clippings followed by personal papers, then creative work by title. Photographs of Joey Soloway, family, and friends, can be found in Series IV. Audiovisual material, including documentation of beauty pageants used in the Transparent writer's room, is in Series V. Electronic records will be reformatted at some future date for inclusion in this series.

Series III, ELAINE SOLOWAY, 1956-2011, includes Elaine Soloway's high school yearbook and reunion material, but is mostly daily diaries she kept over a period of eight years. Each diary volume is numbered sequentially, labeled with the first and last dates of entries, and contains handwritten descriptions of daily activities, feelings, and family issues. Some diaries include later notes commenting on earlier entries. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series IV, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1992-1996, undated, includes Faith Soloway's publicity head shots, and images from Club Passim performances. Soloway family and Joey Soloway photograph albums (Carton 34) are closed until processed.

Series V, AUDIOVISUAL, 1989-2011, includes audiotapes, CDs, DVDs, and VHS videotapes. Faith Soloway material includes recordings of her songs, musical comedies, and "schlock operas." Videotapes and DVDs of several trans and drag beauty pageants were used in the Transparent writer's room. Material is closed until processed.

BIOGRAPHY

Elaine Soloway was born in Chicago in 1938; she graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1956. Elaine Soloway worked as a press aide to Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, and as communications director for School Superintendent Ruth Love. She subsequently worked as a public relations consultant, while also writing neighborhood newsletters and participating in community theater. Elaine Soloway has written three memoirs: The Division Street Princess, Green Nails and Other Acts of Rebellion: Life After Loss, and Bad Grandma and Other Chapters in a Life Lived Out Loud, and one novel, She's Not The Type. She writes four blogs on different topics, has widely published articles, and also works as a writing coach and technology tutor.

Elaine Soloway married psychiatrist Harry Soloway (b. 1937) in the early 1960s and they had two children: Faith and Joey. Elaine and Harry Soloway divorced in the early 1990s. Elaine married Thomas Madison in 1998; Madison died in 2012.

Faith Soloway, born in 1964, attended Indiana University, and subsequently lived in Chicago and Los Angeles, pursuing comedy and folk music opportunities and creating musical comedies with Joey Soloway. After moving to the Boston area in the early 1990s, Faith Soloway wrote and performed folk music, created rock operas, and developed comedy routines. She worked for the Charles River Creative Arts Program for over a decade, teaching musical theater to children and young people. With Joey, Faith was a creator of the television show Transparent (2015-2019), and a writer on a number of episodes. In 2018, Faith created a musical based on the characters in Transparent. It was performed at Joe's Pub in New York City as "Songs From a Hopeful Musical," and that production inspired the musical finale of Transparent.

Joey Soloway, born Jill Soloway in 1965, attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Joey Soloway is nonbinary and gender nonconforming and uses the pronoun they; in June 2020 they began to go by the name Joey. After college, Joey worked in film and television production in Chicago. Their work with Faith creating the stage show, "The Real Live Brady Bunch," launched their career as a writer and director. They moved to Los Angeles and began writing for television, as well as writing screenplays and original scripts. In 2013 Joey Soloway wrote, directed, and produced the feature film Afternoon Delight. Joey Soloway runs a production company, Topple Productions.

Joey Soloway created a television series, Transparent, about a Jewish family whose father comes out as transgender. The show ran on Amazon from 2014 to 2019. Joey Soloway wrote and directed many of the episodes over the 5 seasons; Faith Soloway also wrote a number of episodes. The final season, a musical finale, was in part based on a separate musical review Faith created. Joey received two Emmy awards for directing episodes of Transparent, and the show has won a number of other awards.

Joey Soloway has published several short stories and a novella, in addition to two memoirs, Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants (2005) and She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy (2018).

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in five series:
  1. Series I. Faith Soloway, 1976-2019
  2. Series II. Joey Soloway, 1981-2020
  3. Series III. Elaine Soloway, 1956-2011
  4. Series IV. Photographs, 1992-1996, undated
  5. Series V. Audiovisual, 1989-2011

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2019-M122, 2019-M153, 2019-M168, 2019-M218, 2020-M5, 2020-M62, 2020-M68

The papers of the Soloway family were given to the Schlesinger Library by Joey Soloway between July 2019 and August 2020, and by Faith Soloway in September 2019 and January 2020.

Processing Information

Processed: December 2019

Additional material added and updated: August 2020

By: Jenny Gotwals

This collection is minimally processed.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Link to catalog
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Sponsor
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeanette Ward Fund.
EAD ID
sch01703

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

Contact:
3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-8647