Family Obituary by Craig Prentiss
May 14, 2015

Peter Brett Prentiss, Amherst class of 1963, known as “Brett” to his friends, died on Wednesday, May 13th of metastatic prostate cancer at the age of 73. While at Amherst, he performed in multiple productions at the Kirby Theater, including the title roles in “Richard III” and “Hamlet,” and was also a member of Phi Alpha Psi fraternity.He went on to become an actor and theater professor at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri for 38 years before retiring in 2008.

Born in Indianapolis to John and Dorothy Prentiss on October 21, 1941, he was raised in Ohio. Brett graduated from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio in 1959, and after graduating from Amherst he attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts from 1963-1965. While in London, he met his wife, Branca Maria de Queiroz Costa, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After marrying, they returned to the U.S. where he earned his M.F.A. at Yale University’s School of Drama. After a stint at Stephens and some years in New York City, he and his family returned to Columbia for the duration of his career.

He performed in and directed over one hundred shows at the Stephens Playhouse, Warehouse, and Okoboji Summer Theaters. He received the Governor’s Excellence in Teaching Award from the State of Missouri in 1994, and was named a Trustees Professor by Stephens College in 2002. A fixture on local radio and television commercials, he was known for his powerful voice, devoted mentorship of students, a sharp wit, creative profanity, and great storytelling.  A skilled magician and voracious reader, he loved his family, his dogs, scuba diving, and his martinis. Brett was, in short, unforgettable.

He is survived by his wife of fifty years, Branca, his brother, John Gregory of Lakeview, AR, his son Craig and daughter-in-law, Shana of Kansas City, MO, his daughter Laura and son-in-law, Terrence Chun, of Palo Alto, CA, and five grandchildren: Benjamin Brett Prentiss, Malia Chun, Cole Prentiss, Kaila Chun, and Alana Chun. He took great pride in his Amherst education, kept in touch with roommates Bob Goldberg and Freddy Maples, reminisced often about classroom experiences with professors Aarons, Bard, Dermott, and others, and enjoyed attending reunions.