Tom X. Chao


A lonely downtown theater artist finally gets started with a woman, only to learn what really happens when you enter a relationship: A magical being materializes with vodka to help celebrate—but what if it's not love?


As a callow poet celebrates what should be the greatest night of his career, a magic whistle summons him, and he discovers that an offhand promise made to a young girl years ago inextricably compels him to kill.

Tom X. Chao has written, directed, and performed theatrical shows in New York City and across Canada. Most recently, he presented Callous Cad, a one-act comedy, at HERE Arts Center, originally created at Dixon Place. His other plays include Cats Can See the Devil (anthologized in Plays and Playwrights 2004), Can’t Get Started, Freak Out Under the Apple Tree, The Negative Energy Field, and Summer, Deepening Then Gone. Chao has performed original comedic monologues and sketches at the invitation of P.S.122, Surf Reality, BRIC Studio, Confluence Theatre Company, The Knitting Factory, and The Brick Theater, among numerous others. He has contributed scripts to the One-Minute Play Festival, the Brick Radio Crash Box, and the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Excerpts from his plays have appeared in monologue anthologies for actors. Previously he was named a resident artist by the Horse Trade Theater Group.

Chao studied performance art with Deb Margolin of Split Britches at New York University, where he earned a Master's Degree from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. He also holds a degree in Cinema Production from the University of Southern California, where he further studied fiction writing with authors T. Coraghessan Boyle, Richard Yates, Hubert Selby, Jr., and John Rechy.

Chao wrote and produced his own podcasts, The Peculiar Utterance of the Day and Tom X. Chao's New Podcast, for several years. He has also composed and recorded a number of original songs.

He is based in midtown Manhattan.