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Adrienne Nelson

Coaching &

 Adrienne has coached the Russian dialect for Lars Mikkelsen/PETROV in  Netflix's "House of Cards" for seasons 3, 4, 5 and 6 and coached the accent adjustments for Alexander Sokovikov/MORYAKOV in 5 episodes.  She has served as the dialect coach for productions at Theater J, Adventure Theater, University of Maryland's graduate opera program and Washington Shakespeare Company as well as for many individual actors.  Additionally, she has led group dialect workshops (Russian, Boston, Minnesota and South Dakota) and audition prep/monologue coaching for the Actors Center.

Click here to learn more about Adrienne's background and how she became a Russian dialect coach

Click here to read rave reviews about Adrienne's coaching artists on stage and film

Adrienne is available for one on one or full production coaching for various dialects and Audition Prep/Monologue coaching, email with questions about booking or for full Teaching Artist CV, references and recommendations

House of Cards

Adrienne Served as Russian dialect coach for Lars Mikkelsen/ VIKTOR PETROV, Patricia Clarkson / JANE DAVIS (season 6)  & provided accent adjustment for Alexander Sokovikov /ALEXI MORYAKOV 

Collaborated with Russian translator, Michael Idov, to ensure correct pronunciation of spoken Russian words 

Read about LARS MIKKELSEN's experiences on House on Cards and working with Adrienne in the INDEPENDENT and the VULTURE

Watch excerpts from the episode featuring Alexander Sokovikov's dialect work

  • Season 3, 6 episodes Directed by Tucker Gates, Robin Wright, James Foley, John David Coles and Agnieszka Holland 

  • Season 4, episodes 41, 44 and 45  Directed by Tom Shankland

  • Season 5, episodes 58, 60 and 61  Directed by Roxann Dawson and Michael Morris

  • Season 6, episodes 624, 627, 628  Directed by Ernest Dickerson and Hameed Shaukat


“I can't recommend working with Adrienne enough. 
I would never have made it without her."

Lars Mikkelsen

“Adrienne is the best-hearted instructor I've ever had.And therefore, the most resultative/ productive/ successful​..." 

Alexander Sokovikov

Individual Actors & Companies

Individual Actors*     (Russian): Rick Foucheux, Liz Mamana, Tonya Beckman, Matthew Pauli, Matthew Dewberry, Danny Cackley,

Emily Zickler, Daniel Abeles, Geoffrey Cantor, Ada Pasternak, Ella Ryan Quinn, Meinhard St. John, Abigail Esmena, Masha King,  Rachel Botchan, Evan Vihlen, Ethan Miller, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Firdous Bamji, Dani Stoller and Fabiolla Da Silva.

Jewish Plays Project, NYC (Georgian and Russian):  How to Conquer America: A Mostly True History of Yogurt   (By David Myers, Directed by David Winitsky)

1st Stage (Russian): The Last Match  (By Anna Ziegler, Directed by Alex Levy) 

Actors Salon (Russian):  How to Conquer America: A Mostly True History of Yogurt   (By David Myers, Directed by David Winitsky)

WSC (Russian): Hapgood  

Theater J (Russian) This Much I Know  (By Jonathan Spector, Directed by Hayley Finn)

Theater J (Russian): Boged (Traitor): An Enemy of the People (By Boaz Goan and Nir Erez, Directed by Joseph Megel) 

Theater J (Russian): Yellowface (By David Henry Hwang, directed by Natsu Onoda Power) 

Adventure Theatre/Hillwood: Faberge's Treasures: A Play for Families and Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden
(Directed by Jess Jung, Produced by Michael Bobbitt)

UMD Opera  (Dialect coach Russian Jewish,  Italian,  Swedish,  German and accent adjustments for British singer):  Street Scene (Directed by Amanda Consol)

UMD's Graduate Opera Program (Russian): Die Fledermaus (Directed by Nick Olcott) 

UMD's Graduate Opera Program (Alabama): Regina (Directed by Nick Olcott)

Theater J (Dialect Assistance): Andy and the Shadows (Directed by Daniella Topol) 

Actors Center Master Classes in Russian, South Dakotan, Boston and Minnesotan


What actors are saying about working with Adrienne as a dialect coach and teacher...

...ON SET 

“In my opinion, Adrienne is the best on-set dialect coach for actors because doing dialects for camera is all about confidence. You must be self-assured when you get out there and that's what I got from her. It was Adrienne, who noticed, that when I know what I'm talking about, I sound much better, and that I need to have my acting objective as precise, as possible. Not many of the "professional" dialect coaches could've noticed such a problem. She sharpened my sounds - I don't know any acting coaches, who know the specifics of producing the sounds. So, she is both - an on-set dialect and acting coach in one. I don't know anybody else, who is capable of this. And on top of everything, there's the good and kind and supportive and CONFIDENT energy, that she was radiating with and passing it on to me. It's 100% true, that she was a 50% (partner) co-creator of my role!" 

- Alexander Sokovikov, Actor (Moryakov / House of Cards Season 3) 

I can't recommend working with Adrienne enough. I would never have made it without her. My own knowledge of the Russian spoken language was next to nothing when we started out, but in the course of only a few weeks her tenacious efforts carried me through. Great teacher, wonderful friend and relentless for a good result."   

- Lars Mikkelsen , Actor (Petrov / House of Cards Season 3, 4, 5 and 6)

"I had the pleasure of a last minute taping with Adrienne Nelson. She was absolutely incredible. She and her husband, Ian, made the process quick and simple. Their set up is perfect and their energy is magnetic. Definitely check her out for coaching, dialect coaching and help with auditions. I live in LA but she saved me today as I'm in DC with a last minute audition."

- Tia Hendricks, Actor




“Adrienne Nelson was a joy to work with, and made tackling a difficult accent much more manageable. Her professionalism, attention to detail, and infectious attitude was a great help. "
- Danny Cackley, Actor

“Adrienne Nelson is masterful dialect coach and a natural instructor. Her ability to help an actor key into certain sounds, patterns and phrasings is remarkable. She approaches the dialect work from the point of view of an actress, which I find incredibly useful. Adrienne helps you find the VOICE of your character through the dialect work."
- Liz Mamana, Actor

“Adrienne is an amazing dialect coach. She is an expert with high standards for her students, but is also very generous with encouragement and patience throughout the process. She provides you with all the tools and techniques to break down each vowel shift, and constant change to really empower you to unlock the underbelly of the dialect The best reward is when Adrienne bubbles with genuine excitement when you finally get it right."
- Danielle Bourgeois​, Actor​ / Co-Artistic Director The Poet Acts, Inc.

“Adrienne has been paramount in my journey as an actor in helping me hone my craft. With such a broad range of skills, Adrienne has been able to instruct me on everything from Russian accents and history, to small group monologue and audition preparation. And I cannot fail to mention, as I was training this last summer in NYC, she took the time to give me insight and advise for my Shakespeare class while I was there. So empowering and helpful as I navigated my way through that big city experience. She continues to encourage and keep in touch as I run this industry marathon. Nothing like having a mentor model in your life like her. I recently saw her perform in "One in the Chamber," in DC, and she rocked the socks off that stage!."
- Emily K. Franks, Actor / Singer / Dancer / Model / Register Nurse

Adrienne is amazing. She gives you the tools to fine tune and tweak your character in a supportive, fun and nurturing environment. I really appreciated her advice and found I was getting more auditions after she helped me update my resume"
- Suzanna Woodhead, Actor



"Words cannot express just how incredible Adrienne is! I received a last minute audition from my agents for a HUGE project, with a caveat that the production wanted the actor to perform the scene with an eastern european accent.  Rather than turn down one of the biggest auditions I've had thus far, I immediately scoured the web for a dialect coach who may be able to help me on such short notice.  I honestly didn't expect Adrienne to respond, or even have the time to facilitate a last minute cold coaching, but that's part of what makes her so amazing - not only did she get back with me within the hour, but she jumped head first into getting me prepped and ready for my audition with voice recordings, phonetic worksheets and informational handouts, dialect breakdowns, and more, AND ALL BEFORE I EVEN RESPONDED BACK TO HER INITIAL EMAIL! Most coaches I've encountered in this industry would not be so apt to begin extensive coaching without payment or a scheduled appointment, but Adrienne is such a superwoman with a heart of gold that she got to work helping me without worrying about her own business or a set plan of action.  That alone speaks VOLUMES of the type of genuine soul Adrienne Nelson truly is.  With her extensive knowledge and truly unique way of coaching, I was able to deliver my audition with complete confidence in less than 24 hours.  You won't find a more knowledgeable, charismatic, compassionate, and all around professional than Adrienne, no matter what your needs may be.  She is one of a kind and I'm so grateful to have found her.  Thank you, Adrienne!! You are what the world needs more of. "  

Abigail Esmena, actor/director/coach

"Adrienne came highly recommended by a fellow actress, and, while I do not typically enjoy rehearsing one-on-one, no matter how well I know a director or friend, the session was nothing short of wonderful, with zero angst or self-consciousness.
Adrienne is not just a conscientious coach, who greets you with a thoughtful list of pointers for character and monologue work and meticulously walks you through the basics of assembling a speech, based on your skill level (reminding you to carve out a full back story, giving the piece variety, honesty, working on individual beats), but also has a (truly!) remarkable generosity of spirit, which shines through in celebrating your talent as well as the joy in this profession! She is honest and direct without being brusque. The scope of our work together went above and beyond what we had agreed on and I hope to schedule sessions in the future."

- Vivian Allvin, Actor

“Having studied abroad in Moscow while majoring in Russian, you would think that I could do a passable Russian dialect and maybe so, but, my ability in that area was vastly improved by the skillful instruction of Adrienne Nelson. She has 'walked the walk' and has a great knowledge about everything from pronunciation to intonation and more. Not only did I learn a lot about the techniques to create a credible Russian dialect, but I enjoyed her class immensely. I came away with new tools to add to my actor's 'tool belt' and an understanding of the unique Russian character.."
- David Walsh, Actor

“"Adrienne's acting chops are undisputed - if you've been lucky enough to see her perform you know exactly what I mean. But being able to act does not automatically equate to being able to teach acting. Adrienne, remarkably, has both gifts. She created a space where actors could feel free to do ambitious, risky work and supplemented it with smart, specific advice that was itself rooted in a deep understanding of craft and technique. I walked in to her monologue workshops hoping to be better at auditions. I walked out being a better actor.""
- Erik Harrison, Actor

“Five years ago I was cast in my first play. Since then, I've been cast in maybe a dozen more. However, after taking Adrienne Nelson’s monologue workshop, my feel ability to fine tune a piece improved ten-fold. Adrienne showed me how to use my breath, body, and energy to engage an audience and maintain its engagement for an audition, a monologue, or an entire performance. Her coaching is specific to her student’s needs, presented with language and demonstrations that are easy to understand and remember.
Adrienne’s introduction to the Russian dialect was great! The written materials she prepared allowed me to walk away with lists of words spelled out phonetically. Her audio materials make it easy to practice when class is done. When I needed a quick critique of my first video audition, Adrienne walked me though it. Today you can see me as Librarian in clips from the upcoming web-series “Quiet!” at   Perhaps what makes her an exceptionally good teacher is her style: Adrienne is real, funny, supportive, and generous. If she's leading the class, sign me up!
- Yvonne Paretzky

Adrienne is an excellent teacher/coach for many reasons. She is patient, kind and thorough. She; being an actress herself, understands the difficulty with scheduling and has always been flexible in working with me. I feel more confident using my Russian accent since taking her class and plan to continue my studies with her. If you want to sound need Adrienne!"
- Tracey Allyn

Working with Adrienne Nelson does wonders for both creativity and motivation - her positive energy is contagious!"
- Jennifer Brown Lawyer / Actor

“I had the pleasure of taking Adrienne's Russian accent class at the Actors' Center in Washington, DC in the Spring of 2015. Adrienne is knowledgeable, joyful, and encouraging. She was also able to teach us not only about the Russian dialect, but how to use it within the context of acting. In Adrienne's class we talked about how Russians physicalize themselves, how our character's objective will influence how we speak with the accent, and how the character would speak based on how low they've been in the US.   Our class was supposed to be just one session, but Adrienne decided to extend it to two so that she could cover all the necessary material with us. Furthermore, a few days after our class ended, I called Adrienne to ask for advice about Russian pronunciation for a last minute audition, and she called me back immediately.  Not only is Adrienne well versed in her knowledge, but she also has a big heart and is so giving with her students. Any actor at any level would be blessed to work with her."
- Lindsay Williams, Actress/Woodwind Doubler (clarinet/flute/saxophone)

In all candor, I was a floundering beginner before I met Adrienne. Now thanks to her superb teaching and insightful guidance, I am beginning to achieve my acting goals. Adrienne has taught me about the important subtleties of the acting profession, e.g., how best to present myself at auditions; the “do’s” and “don’t do’s” during casting calls and when onset; and perhaps most importantly, how to translate my professional background into performance-based terms. That she has done so patiently, with great humor and positive encouragement has made working with her a joyful experience."
- Debra N. Diener, J.D.; Privacy & Identity Management Consultant

Everything about Adrienne is good news! She is astoundingly prepared - with learning resources on hand and a well-considered plan for how to proceed in educating the student. She is very fun and very kind - meeting students right where we are and quickly leading us forward. This must be why both novices and pros seek her out with equal confidence and satisfaction. I've worked with her in multiple classes and have gained a great deal. Two thumbs up, for sure!."
- Carol Lampman McCaffrey

"Adrienne provides a comfortable space to explore characters, energize tired monologues, and, with a nuanced attention to detail, helps her students discover the life bursting from each word and action. Every time I work with Adrienne, she inspires authentic choices in my work and constantly challenges me to dig deep. Not only is she always on my list of thank you's for catapulting my career, I constantly return to her studio for her professionalism, warmth, and guidance. If your craft is important to you, don't hesitate to book a session with Adrienne. "
- Jordan Campbell  Actor, Teaching Artist and former Obama White House staffer

Teaching Artist Credits

Teaching Artist

  • Smithsonian 

  • Arena Stage Student Playwrights' Project 

  • The Helen Hayes Theatre Legacy Project 

  • Young Playwrights' Theater

  • Shakespeare Theater Company

  • Shakespeare in the Schools  

  • Washington National Opera. NCDA,

  • Capitol Hill Day School

  • Encore Stage and Studio Artistic Director Stage Door Program 

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