Christine Toy Johnson
The story of Abby Green, an intrepid and fiercely funny octogenarian who tries to prepare her family and herself for her journey into Alzheimer’s by planting trees at the locations of her biggest memories.
CHRISTINE TOY JOHNSON is an award-winning writer, actor, director, filmmaker, and advocate for inclusion based in New York City.
For theatre, her first play, THE NEW DEAL, was the inaugural play to be developed in Charles Randolph-Wright’s "Different Voices" program at the Roundabout Theatre Company in NYC. Other plays and musicals include TRUTH AGAINST THE WORLD: THE TRIALS OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT (developed in a residency at the O’Neill Theater Center), TILL SOON, ANNE (book and lyrics with composer Bobby Cronin, developed in a residency at the O’Neill Theater Center), THE SECRET WISDOM OF TREES (developed in residence at The Barrow Group Theatre Company), BARCELONA (libretto and lyrics with composer/lyricist Jason Ma, developed at residencies at the Weston Playhouse, CAP 21 and as part of Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals), GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT (commissioned by Assaulted Caramel Productions), DIARY OF A DOMESTIC GODDESS (with Kevin Duda), PAPER SON (Diverse City Theatre Company, Queens Theatre in the Park, part of the “Multi-cultural Drama” curriculum at the University of Michigan/Flint and the “Playwriting” curriculum at Wesleyan University), INTERNAL BLEEDING (Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, Crossroads Theatre Company), and ADVENTURES OF A FAUX DESIGNER HANDBAG (Leviathan Lab, part of the “Playwriting” curriculum at Wesleyan University). Short plays and musicals include: MY BOYFRIEND IS AN ALIEN (AND I’M OKAY WITH THAT) (book & lyrics, with composer Bobby Cronin, commissioned and produced by Prospect Theater Company), “EVER SEE A FAT CHINESE?” (commissioned and produced by New Perspectives Theatre Company), HALO HALO BIRTHDAY (Leviathan Lab), PEACE PLAZA (Leviathan Lab), WELCOME TO TELEVISION (Barrow Group Theatre Company), TANFORAN (Barrow Group Theatre Company), EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM (commissioned by Gorilla Repertory Theatre), DO THESE GENES MAKE ME LOOK FAT? (A-Squared Productions) and EXPRESSION OF REGRET (365 Women a Year Playwriting Project).
Screenplays include NO WAVE WITHOUT WIND (with Charles Randolph-Wright), JUMPING THE THIRD RAIL (winner, Meryl Streep/IRIS Writers Lab Fellowship), WINNING NEW YORK (Screenplay and lyrics with composer Bobby Cronin, produced by New York Film Academy), and FOOD LIKE LOVE (screenplay and lyrics with composer Bobby Cronin, produced by New York Film Academy). An anthology of her work was inducted into the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010.
Christine was the Executive Producer and Co-Director with her husband, filmmaker Bruce Johnson, of TRANSCENDING – THE WAT MISAKA STORY, the award-winning documentary feature film about Japanese American basketball star Wat Misaka, the first person of color to be drafted into what is now the NBA by the 1947 New York Knicks.
Other directing projects include Theresa Rebeck’s SEMINAR with Tony Award nominee Alan Campbell at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, 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).
As a performer, she has been breaking the color barrier in non-traditionally cast roles for over 25 years, and has been featured extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, in film, television, and concerts worldwide.
Christine is part of the elected leaderships of both the Dramatists Guild and Actors’ Equity Association. An avid advocate of inclusion, she was honored by the JACL (the nation’s largest and oldest Asian American civil rights organization) in 2010 for “exemplary leadership and dedication”, received the “Wai Look Award for Service in the Arts” from the Asian American Arts Alliance in 2012, and the Rosetta LeNoire Award for “outstanding artistic contributions to the universality of the human spirit in American theatre” from Actors’ Equity Association, in 2013. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Certificate of Screenwriting Program at NYU, an alumna of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the founder of The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project.