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"Justin Cerne, one of the happiest collaborations I’ve ever had”

-Whit Stillman

"Because he inspires the best in people, I’ve never seen a production of his that didn’t thrill. As a collaborative artist he has three rare gifts: insight, trust and contagious joy"

-John Shea

"Justin Cerne has done a brilliant job of combining all four Winter Street novels and creating a play that is engrossing, funny, heartbreaking and filled with the best emotion of the season"

-Elin Hilderbrand

"Justin knows how to bring the brilliance out of each actor, and for all of us who work behind the scenes, we get to experience Justin’s warmth and kindness to all who work with him."

-Liz Himmelstein 


Cerne is in his 11th season as Producing Artistic Director of Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, a Small Professional Theatre (SPT) on the island of Nantucket. While with TWN, he has directed, curated, collaborated, and produced over 100 theatrical events. Directing highlights at TWN include Mamma Mia!, Boeing Boeing, Terms of Endearment, Meteor Shower, Into the Woods, and Neil Simon's The Odd Couple (Female Version). Cerne's choreographic work can be seen in the film Damsel's in Distress (Sony Classic Pictures) starring Oscar Nominee Greta Gerwig and produced, written, and directed by Oscar Nominee Whit Stillman. In 2023, Justin's stage adaptation of New York Times Best-Selling author Elin Hilderbrand's Winter Street novels made its world premiere on Nantucket with a sold-out run.  Before his tenure at TWN, Cerne directed and choreographed across the country and has had the pleasure to work with talents such as Meryl Streep, as well as some of Broadway's best, including Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Liz Callaway, Heidi Blinkenstaff, Patti Lupone, Audra McDonald, and Analeigh Ashford. As a playwright and in addition to Elin Hilderbrand's Winter Street Cerne's other plays include Truth or Consequences, March of the Isabelline Penguins, and Polar.   Cerne holds a BA from Marymount Manhattan College and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from The University of Idaho. Justin is a member of the Actors Equity Association (AEA), Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC), SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild), and the Dramatist Guild.  

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What I Do

As a highly motivated individual, I am proud to bring creativity, collaboration, and an open mind to every project. My passion for innovation and teamwork allows me to bring new ideas to the table and work collaboratively with others. With my excellent leadership skills, I guide and inspire those around me, fostering an environment of growth, learning, and success. Having worked in the performing arts for over twenty years, I have acquired a wealth of knowledge, compassion, and skills to manage the creative process of a theatre, inspire the rest of the organization to be their very best and lead the theatre in an artistically responsible direction while remaining responsive to the unique needs of the community. As an Artistic Director, I am the heart of a theatre, responsible through insightful teamwork for breathing life into and realizing the purpose and vision of the organization both on and off the stage. My ability to work with individuals from talent to board to patrons and donors allows me to unite diverse voices in service to one mission.


During the 2020 Season Theatre Workshop collaborating with nearly 150 directors and actors to bring Caryl Churchill's Love and Information to the virtual stage.  The above video is a preview.


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