From a formative age, Lyn Dutson was interested in theater, costume design, and the history and direction of the theatrical arts. Influenced by her high school play director, Richard Hutchinson, as well as her grandmother, who was one of the earliest teachers in the State of Pennsylvania, Ms. Dutson attended Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in 1966 and 1967, respectively. During her collegiate studies, she focused her attention on English, drama, theatre and costume design, and volunteered her time in the Theatre Department at her alma mater.
At the inception of her career in 1967, following her receipt of her master’s degree, Ms. Dutson served as a lecturer at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, between 1967 and 1968. For the following 40 years, she dedicated her time as a professor of theatre at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona, until attaining emeritus status in 2010. Throughout the course of her career, she has directed more than 80 productions and has been a prolific costume designer. While teaching at Mesa Community College, she served as faculty senate president from 2005 to 2006, faculty senate president-elect from 2004 to 2006, and faculty senator from 1982 to 2006.
Ms. Dutson has maintained affiliation with the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc., and the Costume Society of America. Additionally, she is a member of the Smithsonian Institution, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Common Cause and the American Civil Liberties Union. Philanthropically involved as well, she has been an adjudicator for the Arizoni Theatre Awards of Maricopa County since 2010, as well as a driver and shopper for the visually impaired since 2009. She is a former board member and treasurer of the Class 6 Theater Company, serving the company from 2010 to 2012.
As a testament to her success, Ms. Dutson has received several accolades and honors. The recipient of the Faculty Service Award from Mesa Community College in 2007, she also earned the Arizona Theatre Alliance Award in the category of educator and educational theater program in 2000. Likewise, she earned the Excellence in Theater Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and was named Distinguished Woman of the Year by the Maricopa Community College District, both in 2008. Furthermore, she was listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and was the recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
In her spare time, Ms. Dutson enjoys practicing the martial arts, and is a black belt through Goju Shorei Weapons System and the Arizona Chuan Fa Society. She is also recognized as an actor and combatant of the Society of American Fight Directors.