Samantha Jones

Founder & Director of Hudson Valley Improv

SAMANTHA JONES is an actor and director originally from New York City.

After teaching, directing & coaching in NYC for over 20 years, she made the leap and moved to the Hudson Valley. 

Sam's  passion and unique approach to teaching improvisation is what brings students back again and again. To Sam, improv isn't about "being funny", it's about being FREE. This philosophy is the nuts and bolts if the work she does in her Improv Empowerment classes. The result? An incredibly supportive and creative community of students personally trained by Sam who speak a common language of performance technique.  

Throughout her acting career, improvisation has been the true inspiration for Sam's work as a performer. Along the way she has founded, performed with and directed dozens of troupes including FAUX SHOW, THE MUG SHOTS, THE OUTRAGEOUS INSTINCTS, GRANNY'S MOUSTACHE, BAZOOKA TRAMPOLINE, THE BAKER'S DOZEN, THE FREE ASSOCIATION and PLEASE STAND BY. 

Her years of work in improvisation have led to featured opportunities with Comedy Central, MTV's RUN'S HOUSE, The Uprights Citizen’s Brigade and Jack Black's ACCEPTABLE TV. 

Sam  began teaching improv classes back in 1993 after studying with well-known professor and theatre director, Beverly Brumm.  While her preference for performance purposes is short-form improv, Sam  has developed her own unique form of improvisation which she has become known for. By combining theatre games, the Meisner technique, brain games, and physical challenges to her group events, Sam knows just how to tap into her students to quickly discover what is blocking them.  She then creates original games to break down those blocks. She calls this method Improv Empowerment. 

Through this technique, Ms. Jones has helped hundreds of people learn how to get past the blocks and reclaim who they are instinctually. 

All her work on stage and off eventually lead Sam to directing. Solo shows she has directed have appeared at numerous festivals all over the world. She has co-created and directed solo vehicles for other performers including standup comedy, talk shows, solo shows, and storytelling. She has also directed full-length plays and live concerts.

Sam has donated her empowerment work to several organizations  including, the New Perspectives Theater Company, The Momentum Repertoire Company, and the Esther Ashkenas Central Park Early Learning Center. She was an honorary guest in the Think Tank at the Endangered Species Women's Conference in NYC. Additionally, Sam has contributed her talents to ARTISTS FOR THE CURE at Carnegie Hall, and WIGSTOCK.  As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, she has represented the organization on the board of the NY Coalition of Professional Women in Arts and Media.

She was a founding partner of Dora Mae Productions and in addition to SAG, a longstanding member of AFTRA, AEA, and Alpha Psi Omega. She studied performance at The LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, HB Studios, Neighborhood Playhouse and SUNY New Paltz, where she returns often to speak to young theatre students about career and creative challenges after graduation.