MCT’s Next Step Prep Program: A Scholarship and a Gift of Hope


Many Next Step Prep students would never have the opportunity to attend if it weren’t for the scholarship program.

In the little mountain town of Truckee, California, funding in the schools for fine Arts programs was cut. The dedicated theater teacher, Peggy Boleck, started an after-school program.

Today, Carl Busahmann is sweating on the third floor dance room in the MCT building due to the MCT Little Red Truck Program and Next Step Prep scholarship fund.

The MCT traveled twice to Truckee in their Little Red Trucks.

Carl Busahmann performs in Godspell.

The troupe auditioned, rehearsed, and preformed the Frog Prince, and on a different tour, Oliver. During the time of Oliver, Carl was in third grade.

His mother, Gena, is an artist and dancer herself. She said, “Having the MCT Little Red Truck Tour come to our community was so wonderful for us. Carl is our fifth son of five born to us, and he got the talent.”

Long term opportunity for Carl to work on musical theater in his community did not exist. By the time Carl was in 9th grade, his parents knew the boy “had something”.

One hour away, their neighboring city of Reno, Nevada offered a day camp, but it wasn’t until the drama teacher Peggy brought in an after-school theater program that Carl had another opportunity to practice the craft.

This past spring, Carl was rehearsing for the show Godspell.

At the same time, Gena started looking for performance art schools for her son.

In April, she got ahold of Greg Boris about the Next Step Prep program.

Carl and the cast of Godspell.

By May, Carl was performing Godspell where the drama teacher allowed for as many students as possible to have parts knowing the kids have limited opportunities.

During the performance on May 17th, Carl’s eldest brother passed away. Gena did not tell her son until the last performance on May 19th.

“They are my oldest and my youngest.” Gena says, “They were born exactly fifteen years apart on December 10th. My oldest son dies, and my youngest get an opportunity to come here to Missoula’s Next Step Prep on partial scholarship. We are gifted and it gives hope for the earth.”

MCT’s Next Step Prep Final Showcase Performance is on Thursday, August 2nd at 7:00 pm. The show is free of charge to the public and will be performed in MCT’s Center for Performing Arts on Broadway.

For ticket information, call 728-7529 (PLAY), stop by MCT at 200 N Adams Street, or visit the MCT website.

Come share in the giving theater experience!


Read more of Leisa’s stories about the Missoula music, drama, and theater scene.


Missoula writer Leisa Greene Nelson

Call her a big city girl at heart, finding and satiating that appetite in the city of Missoula. Born in Butte and raised in Missoula, she is fascinated by people and looks for interesting characters to write about.  Everyone has a story to tell, or not, but the people and places in Missoula are unique.

Moving fast in life (for that big city feel) Leisa’s passions bounce around music, theater, food, art, family, and  friends that’s supported by an IV line of dark roasted coffee. Single and a recent graduate from the University of Montana with a BA in Creative Writing, she learned what it was like to be a co-ed in her 40s.

She currently works as an Office Manager at Inter-State Studio and Publishing, working on school photos and yearbooks. Her personal life and nightlife is where she discovers and creates creative non-fiction stories. She has four supportive, loving children:  Dustin, Michael, Jalynn, and Mark (adopted through marriage to Dustin) who are all artistically creative in writing, theater, dance, and singing.  Leisa likes to think she moves faster than they do.