Jump to main content

Andrea Camacho putting on mascara in the mirror

And the Show Goes On

Y el espectáculo sigue

Graduating senior is ready to make the stage their oyster, thanks to many UNCtheater production opportunities


Blue graduation cap.

Take a deeper look at four other exceptional graduates who forged different paths and obstacles to reach their goals.

On the first interaction with graduating Musical Theatre student Andrea Camacho three things are evident: their joyful, high energy, vibrant laugh and self-confidence. Their passion for the performing arts is also palpable and proven successful with Camacho landing roles in seven College of Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) productions in just three years. 

In their first role their freshman year, Camancho played Mimi, one of the lead roles in the production of Rent where they wowed the audience with their powerful, bellowing voice and moving emotional performance. 

“This is why I love doing what I do because I get to tell stories and I get to bring my own story into it, too. And some people in the audience relate to it and they love it, too,” Camacho said. 

However, Camacho says they weren’t always so comfortable in this environment. Attending the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) was a huge adjustment, not just in terms of navigating higher education, but because Camacho was still getting used to American culture.  

Camacho and their family immigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela in 2017. They lived in Aurora and then moved to Greeley to be closer to their aunt. 

“When I got to Greeley, everything was completely new,” Camacho said. “Then transitioning to college life after the pandemic, I [realized I] still had a lot to learn. I had only been in the U.S. for three years, so being an immigrant, how much savings do you have? Not a lot.” 

Camacho leaned on their parents and brother during this time when questioning what to do.  

“My family has always been lifting me up and I just can’t thank them enough for all the things they’ve done for me, because I think it’s vital,” Camacho said. “I didn’t know if I could do this by myself, and they said, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it. Let’s do this together.’” 

Camacho also earned a Stryker Institute for Leadership Development scholarship, which is a participation-based scholarship program that serves women from under-represented groups. As a Stryker Scholar, students receive a $7,500 annual scholarship for up to four years, an Apple iPad package for educational support, a supportive community and access to a year-long program of empowerment, personal growth and leadership development.  

Camacho quickly formed deep connections with their peers at UNC. They became connected with the César Chávez Cultural Center, a center that aims to empower Hispanic and Latine students, and they bonded with fellow PVA students who share similar passions. 

“UNC gives you so many resources,” Camacho said. “There is a siblings program at PVA which assigns you a ‘big’ when you start school, so you don’t ever feel completely alone. I was also fortunate enough to be in many shows here at UNC that allowed me to see the same people all the time, so it was really awesome to know I had a community here.” 

It’s Camacho’s talent though that truly helped them recognize their purpose, passion and potential.  

“Landing roles in the beginning helped, but [it] was also a little confusing,” Camacho said. “The musical theater industry is predominantly white and being a Hispanic person coming into university for the first time, for a while I just felt that I was getting the roles because I was brown, and people wanted diversity in their casting. 

“But then I realized there’s a reason why I get cast and it’s because of who I am. And the more confident I’ve grown in myself, the more I’ve been able to realize I am good at what I do.” 

That confidence spilled over into all aspects of Camacho’s life. They were thriving academically and discovering new things about their identity in an environment that was comforting, supportive and understanding.  

“Hispanic culture is so machismo oriented and heterosexual. And there is a box that you are put into [so] I never really allowed myself to explore what I felt for other people,” Camacho said. “But when I got to the U.S., I started seeing more same sex couples walking around the streets. So, when I started listening to what I wanted and muting the voices around me, the more I became aware that I have the capability to love whoever I want to love.” 

Camacho identifies as pansexual and non-binary and says the journey to getting here has been a freeing experience.  

“It’s like finding that last piece of the puzzle and I can finally see the full picture, the full spectrum of what I am in front of me,” Camacho said.  

Camacho wants to use their life experience in their art and continue tackling important characters. They would even love to rediscover a role they’ve already tackled.  

“I want to play Mimi from Rent again,” Camacho said. “Knowing more about myself and the more I experience – they say the best actors are the ones that are aging because you get more experience, and you know more about life in general. So, I feel like bringing that into a role that I already did would make me so happy.” 

Although playing the role of Mimi won’t be their next performance, Camacho does know the role they will be playing after graduation. Thanks to their extraordinary ability to perform a dance number and make people laugh with their comedic timing, Camacho will be playing Gabriella in the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s production of High School Musical this summer. Based in Johnstown, Candlelight is the largest professional dinner theater in Colorado and hosts Grammy award-winning performers. 

“I’m so excited,” Camacho said. “For the rest of my life, if everything works out correctly, I want to perform until I can’t kick ball change on a stage anymore.” 

Regardless of the character, costume or choreography, Camacho says they will always be fulfilled in life if they’re on stage, and they’re grateful for their experiences at UNC that helped them feel like they belonged there.

“The shows I’ve done have filled me with so much joy,” Camacho said. “There is not a world in which I can see myself not being so attached and in love with the arts.”

Timeline of Camacho’s performing career at UNC:
  • First year – Rent, Akeelah and the Bee, All Shook Up 
  • Second year – The Book Club play, Tik Tik Boom, The Quest of Don Quixote 
  • Third year – Titanic the Musical, Dance Concert 

UNC is deeply committed to meeting students’ financial needs. In 2022-23, 87% of all UNC undergraduate students received some type of grant or scholarship aid that does not need to be repaid.  

Andrea Camacho received the following donor-funded scholarships and UNC institutional scholarships or other federal, state or grant aid. 

  • UC Health
  • Styrker Scholar

More Stories