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Christine Barker spent her childhood in Naples, Italy and in various locations across the United States when her father was an aviator and Commander in the U.S. Navy. When he retired from the military, Christine was about to enter high school, and the family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe had always been considered home since her paternal great-grandparents had settled there in the late 19th century. Her great-grandfather, N.B. Laughlin, was an illiterate young man from Illinois who had learned to read and write, eventually studied law, and became a territorial judge in New Mexico. Her grandmother, Ruth Laughlin, graduated from Colorado College, was an active suffragette prior to 1920, and an author of essays, magazine articles, and a historical fiction novel. The western-pioneering spirit also characterized Christine’s mother’s family, the McClatchys, who had settled in California in the 1850s. Her great, great-grandfather, James, founded a newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, where her great-grandfather, V.S., contributed to the growth of the enterprise, and her grandfather, Leo, worked as a journalist. Family and history were woven into daily life as Christine’s parents frequently spoke of their ancestors in the present tense. From them, she inherited a legacy of adventure, grit, and individualism.
After attending two years of college at UCLA, she headed east to pursue her dreams of a building a career in theater and dance in New York City. At first, Christine roomed at the Salvation Army Evangeline Home for Girls on 13th Street and studied with Alvin Ailey, Luigi and at the American Ballet Theater school. She eventually worked jobs in summer stock, dinner theater, and national tours. After dancing alongside Tommy Tune and meeting Michael Bennett, she was hired for the London production of the Tony award-winning A Chorus Line. From London, she joined the Broadway cast. Over the course of her Broadway career, she also appeared in numerous national television commercials.
Life in New York changed when the AIDS epidemic claimed the life of her older brother Laughlin, his companion Perry Ellis, and many close Broadway friends and colleagues. After their deaths, she retired from her theater career and turned her professional sights to another dream – writing. She went back to school and earned an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction at Sarah Lawrence College.
Christine is married, has two children, and divides her time between Santa Fe and a home in Connecticut. In addition to working on her own projects, she teaches writing to high school students.