After receiving his Master of Fine Arts in 1990 from California Institute of the Arts, Andrew went on to work in regional theatres and off-Broadway. He became resident director of the Indiana Repertory Theatre from 1992-1995, where he directed numerous productions, served as the theatre's literary manager, and taught acting in the conservatory training program. He was then invited to become artistic director of the New Harmony Project, a writer's lab in New Harmony, Indiana. There he oversaw development of new work, which ranged from plays and musicals, to screenplays and TV pilots.
In 1995, Andrew moved to Los Angeles to begin his career in television. He became a series director on ABC's HOME IMPROVEMENT, starring Tim Allen, produced and directed NBC'S WORKING starring Fred Savage, SOUL MAN starring Dan Aykroyd, among others, and numerous other prime time comedies, including episodes of FRIENDS, CAROLINE IN THE CITY, SUDDENLY SUSAN, JESSE, THE SINGLE GUY, IN THE HOUSE, THE JEFF FOXWORTHY SHOW, DAG, MADIGAN MEN, SABRINA, THE TICK, THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW, PHIL OF THE FUTURE, WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE. Over the last decade, Andrew has directed dozens of episodes for prime time television, as well as executive produced two short films, DOLCI and DESERTERS, both first films of former students.
In Los Angeles, Andrew was invited to direct two productions for Shakespeare Festival L.A. (THE TEMPEST, and JULIUS CAESAR) a world premiere opera for L.A. Opera (ON GOLD MOUNTAIN), and a short feature starring Eric Idle entitled BRIGHTNESS, which was awarded the Gold Special Jury Prize for 2001 at the WorldFest in Houston. He continues to direct theatre, the recent world premiere of Theodore Drieser's SISTER CARRIE for Indiana Rep, and THE TEMPEST at East West Players in Los Angeles. THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Nilo Cruz's adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS for Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. Internationally, he has produced and directed noted theatre works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In addition to his directing career, Andrew is an associate professor of dramatic arts at the University of Washington School of Drama where he heads the undergraduate drama program, leads summer drama programs at the Edinburgh Festival and is the artistic director of The Drama Collective, a European theatre studies creative lab in Europe.
He was awarded the Center for Leadership Development's Arts Award by the City of Indianapolis, has served as a grants panelist and on-site reviewer for the NEA, and volunteers as a media advisor for public advocacy groups, Asian voter registration initiatives and local political campaigns.
Filmmaking Pilot Program Embraces the Liberal Arts Arts & Sciences Perspectives, January 2013 - "Drama professor Andrew Tsao had long dreamed of a UW film program that would combine the liberal arts and applied film production. But the daunting cost and logistics of such a program gave him pause."
Backstory: The Filmmaker's Vision. Each week Andrew Tsao, interviews filmmakers to get the real story behind their work and the filmmaking process. This behind the lens series is produced by UWTV in collaboration with the Seattle International Film Festival.
2013 - Drama France: The Drama Collective Pontlevoy
Over a four week period, students are immersed in an intensive European theatre conservatory environment. Classes and workshops run from 9AM to 10:30PM with breakfast, lunch and dinner breaks on Monday through Friday, July 25 – August 25, 2013.