Mark Twain is not Pritner’s first encounter with great men in one-person plays. He has impersonated the great lawyer, Clarence Darrow and the Protestant Reformation religious leader Martin Luther. In addition, as himself, he performed a one-person show about William Shakespeare and his attitudes toward women in For Several Virtues Have I Liked Several Women.
Besides his work as an actor and director in Chicago and New York, Pritner has logged time in front of the camera. He had a recurring role in Chicago Story, was an Air Force officer on The A-Team, was a detective on HBO’s The Speck Murders and on Hunter, and most recently appeared on film as the governor of Missouri in Robert Altman’s Kansas City.
He was the founding artistic director of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, was founding chair of Illinois State University's Department of Theatre, has been elected a Fellow of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre (limited to a maximum of 150 theatre persons of distinction), and most recently served as chair of the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Department of Theatre. In 2001, he co-authored, with Louis Colaianni, How to Speak Shakespeare. He and Scott Walters have an introductory play analysis text (McGraw-Hill) at press.
Former students include: Gary Cole, John Malkovich, Judith Ivey, Laurie Metcalf, William Peterson, Tom Irwin, Suzzanne Douglas, and Robert Townsend. Students from Pritner's tenure as Illinois State's theatre chair formed Chicago's Tony-Award winning Steppenwolf Theatre.