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Alumna performs Shakespeare in New York parks

Seton Hall alumna Yvonne Pruitt took to the New York stage to take part in The Fools and Kings Project to perform the Shakespeare play “Richard the Third.”

Pruitt graduated in 2019 with a degree in theatre and performance. She explained why she decided to pursue an acting career. She said that her passion intensified in high school.

“I always loved performing,” Pruitt said. “I think it was in high school when I really got the acting bug. I had an amazing adviser and director of theatre who encouraged me and told me that it was something I should seriously pursue.”

Pruitt made her New York stage debut in “Southern Promises” at the Flea Theatre. The production focused on American slavery. She expressed that her role as Charlotte helped her grow as an actor and a person.

Photo via Instagram @yvonnepruitt
Pruitt performed in the Shakespeare play “Richard the Third†in New York.

“I think the whole experience was memorable,” Pruitt said. “I think that the comradery of the cast mixed with the work we put in made the experience enjoyable.”

Pruitt said Seton Hall helped prepare her to land roles. The production of “Richard the Third” has wrapped up, and Pruitt credits her success to Gretchen Hall, instructor of theatre.

“I would not have been as remotely prepared as I was if not for Professor Gretchen Hall,” Pruitt said. “During my undergraduate career, she worked endlessly with me to perfect my Shakespeare monologue. SHU and the people there gave [me] the fundamentals.”

Over a two-week period, The Fools and Kings Project performed for free, and all performances were open to the public. The actors performed at Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park and Summit Rock in Central Park.

Alexis Juarez, a junior visual and sound media major and Zeta Tau Alpha member, commented on her fellow ZTA sister’s success.

“She is just so kind and caring, and always putting others before herself and thinking of others,” Juarez said. “She is also very humble and enthusiastic. No one deserves it more because she always works so hard. I’m not at all surprised because she was always very determined, and I knew she would make it big one day.”

During her time at SHU, Pruitt was involved in a number of extracurricular activities. She was involved in the theatre council, Habitat for Humanity, ZTA, Alpha Phi Omega and was a peer adviser and coordinator.

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Anne Marielle Jerez, a junior political science major, described her relationship with Pruitt, as Pruitt served as her peer adviser when she was a freshman.

“Yvonne has always shown dedication and hard work in everything that she does,” Jerez said. “She was an awesome peer adviser. I know she’ll go far, and I’m so proud of all that she has accomplished.”

Pruitt’s career included performances at the South Orange Performance Acting Center performing in “Steel Magnolias,” “Radium Girls” and “The Way of the World.” Pruitt gave advice to current students.

Pruitt said, “Be bold and make decisions. Even if they don’t work out, you just let it go and move on to the next opportunity. This was originally acting advice, but I think it applies to life pretty well too.”

Nicholas Hernandez can be reached at nicholas.hernandez@


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