Christine Toy Johnson was born and bred in the suburbs of New York City. A performer at an early age, she began modeling when she was four for national campaigns such as Buster Brown, Life Cereal and Scotchgard. She got her Equity card the summer she graduated from high school, playing “Liat” in a production of SOUTH PACIFIC, later attending the University of Southern California School of Music for Vocal Performance, graduating from Sarah Lawrence College and much later the Screenwriting Program at NYU.
Christine made her New York debut in the Autumn following her college graduation as the leading lady of the Off-Broadway musical OH, JOHNNY. She has enjoyed a varied and extensive career on stage and in film and television ever since. Broadway, National Tour and Off-Broadway credits include the revivals of THE MUSIC MAN (“Ethel Toffelmier”) GREASE! (“Patty”), FLOWER DRUM SONG (“Rita Liang”), MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (cast album), PACIFIC OVERTURES, and FALSETTOLAND (“Charlotte”) PHILIP GOES FORTH (Mint Theatre/Mrs. Randolph) as well as BOMBAY DREAMS (“Kitty”) and CATS (“Sillabub”) and original productions of CRANE STORY (Playwrights Realm), GENESIS (NYSF), BALANCING ACT (cast album), and CHU CHEM. Regional highlights include leading roles with the Huntington Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Indiana Rep, Missouri Rep, Paper Mill Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company, Minnesota Opera, The Ogunquit Playhouse, Harbor Lights Theatre Company, California Musical Theatre, the Weston Playhouse, Bristol Riverside Theatre and the Hangar Theatre. Nearly 100 film and television appearances include writing, producing and starring in the award-winning short film ALL AMERICAN EYES, “Lisa West” on ONE LIFE TO LIVE (2000 and 2001 aMedia Award nominations), UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT, THE AMERICANS, SMASH, 666 PARK AVENUE, 30 ROCK, ROYAL PAINS, FRINGE, UGLY BETTY, CROSSING JORDAN, GROUNDED FOR LIFE, NUNSENSE and NUNSENSE 2 (PBS and A&E), LAW AND ORDERS: SVU and CRIMINAL INTENT, OZ, AS THE WORLD TURNS, CONSPIRACY THEORY, JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE and L.I.E. She currently plays the recurring role of “Dr. Celia Lee” on LAW AND ORDER: SVU.
An avid anti-discrimination advocate, she was a semi-finalist in 2001 for the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World” Award, is on the board (and long time officer) of the Tony Award honored Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, a nationally elected Councillor of Actors’ Equity Association and National Chair of its Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. A sought after speaker on inclusion and diversity issues, she has also written many nationally published articles on the subject. Christine was honored in 2013 with the Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors' Equity Association for "outstanding artistic contributions to the universality of the human experience in American theatre", in 2012 by the Asian American Arts Alliance with The Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service in the Arts, and by the JACL (the nation's largest and oldest Asian American Civil Rights Organization) in 2010 for "exemplary dedication and leadership."
Christine is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright. Her play, THE NEW DEAL, was the first project to be developed by the Roundabout Theatre Company's "Different Voices" program in June, 2006. Other plays include PAPER SON, INTERNAL BLEEDING, ADVENTURES OF A FAUX DESIGNER HANDBAG, EXPRESSION OF REGRET, EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM, HALO HALO BIRTHDAY, 'EVER SEE A FAT CHINESE?", TANFORAN, PEACE PLAZA, WELCOME TO TELEVISION, DO THESE GENES MAKE ME LOOK FAT?, SECONDARY IMPACT (a play with dance created with JoAnn M. Hunter and David Dabbon), RIDING OUT THE STORM (with composer Michael Mott), and BARCELONA (book and lyrics, with composer Jason Ma) CHANDRA & PHOOLAN (book and lyrics, with composer/lyricist Kamala Sankram) and DIARY OF A DOMESTIC GODDESS (with Kevin Duda). A collection of her written work was included in the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010. She founded ReImagined World Entertainment with Bruce Johnson in 2003 to produce film and theatre projects that celebrate the experiences of society's underdogs. Their award-winning Documentary film, TRANSCENDING - THE WAT MISAKA STORY, was completed in September of 2010.
Other directing projects include Theresa Rebeck’s SEMINAR with Tony Award nominee Alan Campbell at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre (Spring, 2015). A.R. Gurney’s LOVE LETTERS with James Shigeta and Nancy Kwan (San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre), Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN (Actors Equity Association’s 2012 Asian Heritage Month celebration), Philip Kan Gotanda’s SISTERS MATSUMOTO (Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Day of Remembrance) and her own works, ANTONI & AN WEI (National Asian Artists Project) and PEACE PLAZA (Leviathan Lab).
Christine is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, The Dramatists Guild, and ASCAP, is an alum of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, and is the founder of the Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project.
She happily lives in New York City with her husband, filmmaker/photographer/graphic designer Bruce, and their dog, Joey.