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The theatrical event designer

Amanda Rehbein, BFA 03
July 4, 2022
By Richard Burnett, BA 88

Trained in fine arts and stage design, Amanda Rehbein still keeps a toe in the theatre pond — her set designs can currently be seen in 9 to 5 The Musical in Jackson, MS — but also brings a dramatic, cutting-edge aesthetic to the luxury and corporate event productions she creates.

“As in theatre, I make sure that we're telling a story in every design we develop for the hospitality world,” Rehbein says.

As associate creative director for experiential market group Relevent and design director at Olivier Cheng Catering and Events, Rehbein has designed events for top brands such as Heineken, Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Hennessy, W Hotels, Stoli and Diesel. Rehbein was also creative partner of The Pennsy Food Hall in Midtown Manhattan.

Based in upstate New York, she now runs Amanda Rehbein Studio. She is also working on a new food hall in the Royalmount development in the Town of Mount Royal in Montreal.

Career moment

“In the last five years, much of my work has been hospitality driven. I branched out of my comfort zone to work on a food hall in Manhattan that I not only helped design and curate, but was a partner in. It was exciting and a really big deal at the time.”

Influential professor

“In my second year of university, one of my theatre professors, Ana Cappelluto, said to me, ‘What's wrong with you? You're a great student, you're super talented, but you never show up.’ No one had ever really called me out before. We’ve been friends now for 20 years.”

Industry trends

“In hospitality design work since COVID, everybody wants everything spotless. People want to see that it's clean, they don't want to just know that it's clean. Many people are looking for less clutter, fewer things.”

Passion project

“I live in Stone Ridge, New York, where many people don't have access to automobiles, preventing them from getting to the food bank. I do deliveries to people's homes every Thursday.”

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