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Adrienne Nelson

Acting Press

Out of the Vineyard

By Psalmayene 24.  Directed by Tony Thomas.

MD Theatre Guide Review, Anne Valentino "Out of the Vineyard" 

“Out of the Vineyard,” part of the Freedom Stories Initiative spotlighting antiracist and social justice programs, presents an experience that harkens the work of the Tectonic Theater Project, but with what I can best describe as having a somewhat more intimate and personal feel....

Four actors assume a multiplicity of roles as they work to paint a cohesive picture of what hate looks like, what injustice feels like, and what true power can be found in the idea of family and legacy.

…Jacqueline Youm, Adrienne Nelson, Frank Britton, and Scott Ward Abernethy…do an incredible job of switching from one persona to the next.…a deeply reflective piece… They do an incredible of switching from one persona to the next. There is an almost ethereal quality inherent in the lines they draw between voices—so much so that you are nearly convinced they actually have different faces.

Read the full review

Washington City Paper Review, Melissa Lin Sturges "Out of the Vineyard"

"Out of the Vineyard is as meditative as Monumental Travesties can be unnerving. These new works are a promising reminder of the talent in D.C. theater and each presents a sizzling confrontation with race in the United States."

The staging of Out of the Vineyard is quite simple. Scott Ward Abernethy, Frank Britton, Adrienne Nelson, and Jacqueline Youm are attentive to individual characterization, with many charming personal touches and overall captivating stage presences. The play is not linear, but the actors rise to the challenge of interweaving these many narratives. "

Read the full review

DC Theater Arts Review, Gregory Ford "Out of the Vineyard"

"It was dazzling. From beginning to end, the entire show dances, with director Tony Thomas’ choreography (supported by assistant choreographer Pauline Lamb) taking the staging into that choreopoem territory memorably occupied by Ntozake Shange. (Some may recall being similarly transported by such previous Psalmayene 24/Tony Thomas collaborations as the Helen Hayes Award–recognized Word Becomes Flesh.)

…Four actors play multiple roles, all giving performances that illuminate the real-life persons they are bringing to life.” 

Read the full review

After Macalester feature 

Adrienne is a featured alumni beside Danai Gurira

The Theater and Dance Department is enormously proud of our alumni. They are professional actors, choreographers, dancers, designers, directors, playwrights, producers, scholars, screenwriters, and arts teachers leading distinguished careers in major cities of the United States and around the world. 

Read the full feature


Celtic Cross

By Jack Gorman

DC Filmdom Review by Eddie Pasa

" It’s a nifty 20-minute bottle episode at a boutique funeral parlor occupied by a family full of quirks and sporting a deep scar which has obviously never healed. Alternating between little hijinks and the seriousness which this situation warrants, Gorman lets allusion and inference take over instead of outright giving the viewer everything they need to know until the appropriate time. "   Read the full review here

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Celtic Cross has received over 16 award nominations, win 8 wins including: 

  • Best Film Short, Best Shorts Competition (Award of Excellence Special Mention)

  • Best Ensemble Cast, Best Shorts Competition (Award of Excellence Special Mention)

  • Best Short Film, Bright Film Festival

  • Best Acting Ensemble, Independent Shorts Awards (Honorable Mention)

Cousin Bella Whore of Minsk

By Sherman Yellen, Adapted by Carolyn Griffin

DC Metro Theater Arts Feature

"The story of Cousin Bella’s adventures, both hair-raising and hilarious, was brought to glorious life by two veterans of the stage, multiple Helen Hayes Award winner Rick Foucheux and Adrienne Nelson, a performer known for her Russian dialect and the eloquence of her shrugs. "   Read the full review here


on Showtime

Billions Season 3, Episode 10: Defcon 6


Over dinner with the Russian’s awkwardly blended family — a gaggle of adorable kids and a trio of noticeably seen-but-not-heard women comprising his wife, his ex-wife, and his mother   Read the full review here

All the Way

by Robert Schenkkan

Woman Around Town Feature

Adrienne discusses preparation for her roles as Lurleen Wallace and Muriel Humphrey    Read the full interview here

Washington Express Feature


Backstage look at the cast (featuring Adrienne) as they perform the show,   Read the full feature here

Adrienne brings to life multiple roles in All the Way 

One in the Chamber

by Marja Lewis Ryan

Adrienne was both an actor and producer for this production

Keith Tittermary, Broadway World  Full review 


“The two standouts in the show are Noah Chiet as Adam, and Adrienne Nelson as the mom, Helen. Both are superb in their portrayal. Chiet's performance is small and nuanced, perfect for Adam. Chiet portrays a sense of emptiness and hurt that is truly remarkable. Nelson, who is also a producer, is a stalwart in the very capable cast. Helen is a difficult role who goes through a myriad of emotions in the 70-minute piece. Adam describes his mom as "ordinary, not normal". Nelson's performance of "ordinary" (and very much still grieving) is the highlight of the show.”

Chris Kilmek, Washington City Paper  Full review


“The cast that Michael R. Piazza has assembled handles this grim material well. Tolar and Nelson are both especially strong, pivoting convincingly between forced make-nice smiles and flashes of pure rage.”

Brett Steven Abelman, DC Theatre Scene  Full review


“Adrienne Nelson is the mother, desperately trying to defend herself and her family from emotional fallout and public judgment...One in the Chamber makes for a superbly dramatic whetstone.”

Photo by Noah Chiet

Morgan Halvorsen, MD Theatre Guide  Full review

“It sometimes feels like an intrusion, but that is a credit to the incredible authenticity of its cast, and the general brilliance of its writing. ...Adrienne Nelson and Dwight Tolar have a subtle and heartbreaking performance as parents struggling with the realities of their family dynamic–Nelson as the alcoholic mother demented from grief, Tolar as the father numbing himself through work.”

John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theater Arts  Full review

“In Adrienne Nelson’s nuanced performance of Helen, we see the chilling character arc of a really good mom, a super-accomplished homemaker, utterly losing it over this loss”

Below are a few excerpts from One in the Chamber reviews audience members left on Goldstar*.  
You can click here to read all the reviews  (*Adrienne promises not all the reviews were left by her mother)

"Adrienne Nelson as the mother is fantastic. Her performance builds from a scattered, simmering emotional turbulence to an emotional breakdown that had several audience members in tears"

"Roller coaster of raw emotion... Adrienne Nelson, and Danielle Bourgeois particularly created achingly believable characters"

"A tremendous experience to see such great acting so close up"​

Occupied Territories

by Nancy Bannon and Molly Maxner

***** Nominated for 6 Helen Hayes Awards in 2016! Adrienne along with the cast received a nomination for Best Ensemble. The production also received nominations for Best Play, Outstanding Choreography, Two Best Supporting Actors and Best Direction!!    Found out more about this production and how it continues to grow

“Visceral and stunning...The 80-minute work takes place after the funeral of the father of Jude (Nancy Bannon, effectively brittle) and Helena (Adrienne Nelson, exuding warmth and kindness in her too-brief scenes)”

Jayne Blanchard, DC Theater Scene (June 2015)  Full review

"Combining storytelling, flashbacks and dance, Occupied Territories sears the hearts in it's exploration of the cost of war and how it scars not just soldiers but future generations- particularly the women who deal with the aftermath, trying to make sense out of the irrational"  

Celia Wren, Washington Post (June 2015)  Full review

"The intimate, almost immersive nature of the staging drives home the play's central theme: Collins, his Army mates and even Jude are trapped inside the machinery and consequences of war. The 'occupied territories' of the title are measured not in square miles but in years and lives"   

Photo by Colin Hovde


by Jennie Berman Eng

Maegan Clearwood, DC Theater Scene (July 2014)

“But the story is really about Joy (Adrienne Nelson) the family matriarch who will do anything to ignore her husband's misgivings and catapult him back to the top of the political ladder...Nelson, as Joy, serves as the production's true powerhouse, however, and not only because her character calls for such vivacity. Joy could easily be portrayed as a stereotypical nagging housewife, a manipulative Lady Macbeth to her less capable husband. For all of Joy's upper-class ambition, however, Nelson imparts a sense of insecurity and fragility. The script somewhat inhibits Joy's emotional trajectory, but Nelson's stunning emotional journey makes the production truly captivating.” 

Winyan Soo Hoo, Washington Post

Joy (played by the engaging Adrienne Nelson)...Eng's biting script receives breathtaking verve from a family enduring their father's sins. Beyond satirizing suburban malaise, "Bethesda" finds humor in what a family must do to survive in this town.” 

Photo by Jennie Berman Eng

Jessica Vaughan, DC Metro Theater Arts

(DCMTA awarded "Bethesda" 5 stars and named it Best of the Capital Fringe)

“She (Eng) also directs and produces this tight, hilarious look at a disintegrating DC family...Whalen and Nelson are two long-time DC actors now gracing the Fringe stage with their nuanced performances and pitch perfect depiction of the typical Washington almost-power couple.” 

by Tom Swift


Theatre in DC 

“This new production by Tom Swift takes audiences on a thrill-ride back to Swampoodle, where the razzle-dazzle of a former showbiz mecca collides with the raw spirit of the once-notorious shantytown.”

Washington City Paper

“It feels illegal, like a fight club, or a rave…breathtaking moments”.

Pink Line Project 

"Swampoodle at the Uline Arena/Washington Coliseum is one of the most extraordinary performances I have ever seen."

Swampoodle Promo Video

“Scenes of evocative beauty that take advantage of the arena’s haunting decay”

DC Theater Scene 

"If you’ve never felt goosebumps rise on your arms in 80 degree weather, you have a week left to seek out the experience…the powerfully haunting spectacle that is Swampoodle… the achievement here turns out to be big, bold, and memorable"

Living Dead in Denmark 

by Qui Nguyen


“...Adrienne Nelson gives a smart, self-effacing performance as a proud but conflicted Titania...” 

Photo by C Stanley Photography

by Jacqueline Lawton

Anna K


Adrienne Nelson is a welcome diversion when her wearied but wry Betsy, Anna's best friend, comes on the scene”

DC Theatre Scene 

Adrienne Nelson as liquored up confidante Betsy saves the day with her droll observations about life, urging Anna to seize a chance for love, all while holding a treasured glass of aperitif at all times. ”

Photo by C Stanley Photography

Swimming in the Shallows 

by Adam Bock

Washington Post, Peter Marks

“...Nelson is particularly convincing as an earthy New Englander conflicted on the question of matrimony.”

Washington Times

"Adrienne Nelson bristles with smarts and sparks"

DC Theatre Scene 

"...the characters portrayed by Ms. Young and Ms. Nelson provide the emotional center of the work"

by Alan Bennett

Kafka's Dick 

Washington Times, Jayne Blanchard

“[Adrienne Nelson's] overtly sexual and deceptively dimwitted performance is a perfect accompaniment to Mr. Henley’s sepulchral allure.”

Washington Post, Nelson Pressley  ** A Washington Post pick 

“The lady of the house is a buxom ex-nurse who spouts inane facts that her amateur-biographer husband passes along. Adrienne Nelson delivers these lines with cheerful confusion, although the character isn't quite as dim as she looks in Kimberly Dawn Morell's appropriately cliched sexy costumes -- a tight pink track suit and, later, a nurse's blouse and high heels."

Potomac Stages, Brad Hathaway  ** A Potomac Stages pick 

“Adrienne Nelson…filling out a velour lounging outfit with the requisite pulchritude and playing the sexuality brightly…”

City Paper, Bob Mondello 

“Replete with puns, a scantily- clad- but- not- as- dim- as- she- appears nurse (Adrienne Nelson) a bit of time travel, and an afterlife pictured as a sort of intellectual vaudeville act, the evening is a smartly produced hoot... in performance it’s such a breeze that if laughter is what your’e after this holiday season, you’d be well-advised to forget the Dickens and go straight for the Dick.”


by Peter Shaffer

Metro Weekly

"Particular praise must be given to ... Adrienne Nelson [who] manages the most elusive of theatre magic. The audience is allowed the luxury of forgetting that these are actors playing roles.

Washington Times

"... A sexuality [is] also steamily present in Dysart's scenes with his mistress, played with decency and compassion by Adrienne Nelson."

Washington Post, Peter Marks   ** A Washington Post editor's pick 

"Washington Shakespeare Company in its crackerjack revival seizes on what's most vibrant in "Equus" and makes it an absorbing excursion into the nether regions of the turbulent soul... Gardner also elicits top drawer work from Nelson ..."

by Sam Shephard

The God of Hell 

DCist, Missy Frederick 

“...Adrienne Nelson subtly captures the spirit of a simple, contented wife whose life becomes completely disrupted. Nelson’s Emma is utterly believable; her values are simple, but she communicates a no-nonsense kind of warmth, backed by a firm integrity. Her pitch-perfect Midwestern accent doesn’t hurt either.

DC Theatre Review

“There are some pretty crafty performances in this show… Adrienne Nelson is a ticking time bomb…

The Washington Post 

“Providing a potent contrast to his frenzy is Nelson’s placid Emma, who putters about in a cozy red bathrobe and matching hairband speaking with a crooning Wisconsin accent- an appealing, if somewhat dimwitted, representative of the American heartland values under assault by Welch.”

The Washington Times

“Miss Nelson is the most restrained of the bunch, and her Wisconsin accent is subtle, laying on the bovine vowels only when needed for comedic effect. The character of Emma is the baffled conscience of the piece, and Miss Nelson deftly shows how a good, placid person can easily get caught up in circumstances beyond her control.”

The City Paper, Trey Graham

“Nelson, particularly, comes closest to creating a sense of what’s at stake for Shepard: Quiet and worried and more than a little uncertain about what’s right and what’s to be afraid of, she stands in nicely for the decent fold who get swept up in the at-any-cost frenzy only to discover they’ve let themselves be hustled too far, too fast.”

Shkspr Prjct

a deconstructed Grotowski inspired Macbeth

The Washington Post, Peter Marks 

“...The production is aided immensely by the full bore commitment of the actors. They throw themselves into their labours with all the brio of kindergartners finally let loose for recess after a string of rainy days… the ensemble meshes winningly…”

by Ami Dayan


The Washington Post 

“Graham and Nelson are likable and energetic as the conflicted John and Helen, and Nelson also gives pizzazz to two subsidiary fantastical characters.”

DC Theatre Review

“Adrienne Nelson’s Helen is as stable as John is flighty- grounded, smart and self-confident, she is John’s polar opposite. The chemistry the performers share is a critical reason this production works.”


Belgrade Project 

by Biljana Srbljanovic

Curtain Up

"Adrienne Nelson is both funny and scary as a mother suffering from severe post-natal depression. When she announces that she has put the baby to sleep you aren't sure if she sang it a lullaby or smothered it with a pillow.”

The Washington Post 

"New parents Sanja (Adrienne Nelson) and Milos (John Slone)... play their roles vividly, infusing the get-together with backbiting tension even during the small talk.“

belgrade trilogy.jpeg

Dialect Coaching Press


This Much I Know 

By Jonathan Spector

Broadway World Theatre Review: "This Much I Know" at Theater J

"The trio of actors (Mr. Bamji, Dani Stoller, and Ethan J. Miller) are all superb in bringing out the complexities of their characters. All the actors must take on differing accents and personas and they all make fluid and compelling transitions from one quicksilver scene to the next. Read the full review

MD Theatre Guide Review: "This Much I Know"

"The cast of three slide so easily from one character to the next....Ethan J. Miller who plays Harold, as well as a series of quirky Russian characters, proves himself an accent acrobat, veritably flipping from one voice and character into the next. ."  Read the full review

DC Theater Arts  "This Much I Know" at Theater J is an exhilarating head trip"

"Stoller morphs into Svetlana Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin’s daughter — all the while wearing the same sleek satin blouse and pants that costume designer Danielle Preston chose for her. Stoller’s swift switching in physicality and dialect between Natalya and Svetlana is transfixing."  Read the full review

The Georgetown Dish  "This Much I Know’ 

"The cast is made up of three people. They each play numerous roles aside from their main ones. They are all really good. There is Lukesh, the professor, played by Firdus Bamji.  He plays some other minor characters, and is also the voice of Stalin, and the white Supremacist. Then Natalia, the wife, played by Dani Stoller. She is also Svetlana, and at one point her own grandmother. Both of these actors are wonderful, have very believable accents in their various roles. They totally command the stage when they are on."  Read the full review

The Last Match

By Anna Ziegler

***** Nominated for 6 Helen Hayes Awards in 2024!  The nominations included Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Ethan Miller and Fabiolla Da Silva.

MD Theatre Guide "Theatre Review: ‘The Last Match’ at 1st Stage Theater"

"Miller as Sergei seems to be the electric center who rallies the troops and sets the scenic tones with his bursts of anger, unbridled joy, and boyish disbelief that he actually is where he is. We believe him and we believe in him. Miller’s accent makes him all the more endearing as it is quite convincing. Kudos to dialect coach Adrienne Nelson.Read the full review

Broadway World  "Review: THE LAST MATCH at 1st Stage"

"The well-placed bursts of sound and light (Alberto Segarra and Kenny Neal) heightens intense and critical moments. And the fabulous accents delivered by Sergei and Galina with coaching from Adrienne Nelson are impeccable."  Read the full review

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DC Theater Arts  "Witty and moving ‘Last Match’ is served beautifully at 1st Stage"

"The Last Match is a wonderful piece, performed beautifully by Kopas, Rathnam, Miller, and Da Silva, who collectively convey the heartbreak of real-life experiences that can forever change you. Also, a mention is necessary to dialect coach Adrienne Nelson for the fantastic work with the accents."  Read the full review

Interviews with Adrienne on Accents in the Marvel Universe

SLATE Article: "A Dialect Coach Assess Every Russian Accent in Black Widow" by Marissa Martinelli


"Slate spoke to Adrienne Nelson, an actress and dialect coach who worked with Lars Mikkelsen and other actors for years on House of Cards, to explain how her job works, evaluate Black Widow’s Russian accents, and divulge the classic mistakes to be avoided at all costs."  Read the full interview

Cheatsheet Article: "Black Widow: Florence Pugh was Scared of Her Russian Accent " by Sarah Little


"Slate spoke with Adrienne Nelson, a dialect coach who works in Hollywood. They discussed the Russian accents in Black Widow, and Nelson had only good things to say about Florence Pugh."  Read the full interview

House of Cards

Season 3, Episode 3 

In addition to appearing in the episode Adrienne also served as a Russian Dialect Coach on set.   LEARN MORE

Alex Brannan, CineFiles  Full review

"The dinner continues. We see a hilarious gaffe in progress as the Vice President (Donald Blythe) can’t understand a woman’s (Adrienne Nelson) Russian accent..." 

Teaching Artist / Producer


A Moment in Time at YPT with Adrienne Nelson

Young Playwrights' Theater Blog

"I had a blast performing student-written scenes by the young playwrights at [Washington Latin Public Charter School]. It was incredibly refreshing watching the playwrights light up when we helped electrify a scene that one of their classmates wrote and inspire laughter from all of their classmates—especially in classes where previously many seemed a little guarded. By seeing us risk big (and sometimes make fools of ourselves), it seemed to give them permission to risk more significantly in their writing and reflections."  


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Writing Aloud: Staging Plays for Active Learning

George Lucas Educational Foundation 

"Students also learn how to conduct research, perform in front of an audience, collaborate with their peers, and express themselves, says Adrienne Nelson, the Arena Stage teaching artist who worked with the class of thirty-two Stuart-Hobson students this year.

Writing and performing their own work "teaches them a hundred times more than what they'd learn performing a little historical piece," Nelson says. "They're more invested when they've written it. And they learn key skills." "


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