“Tina’s writing has the vitality and theatrical instincts she brings to the stage as a performer, combined with a poetic sensibility and imagination that is distinctly writerly. With each new work she moves from strength to strength.” — Ron Reed, Artistic Director, Pacific Theatre


“Simply delightful” — Julie Sutherland

“Beautiful!” — Rebecca deBoer

“Coming from an immigrant family, I really empathized and enjoyed and got caught up in Natya’s story.” — Louise Darou

“If you’re interested in experiencing a masterfully crafted story, or you simply want to see a talented performer at work—engaging the audience and making it look easy—then I highly recommend this one. Don’t miss it!” — Cory Wreggitt

“Teeninga’s creative energy brings to life the beauty of innocence, the pain of experience, and the reality of cultural tensions. Very engaging!!” — Loewen


Otherwise Productions

Red River College (Venue 11), to July 27

By Morley Walker, Winnipeg Free Press

Vancouver writer-actor Tina Teeninga accomplishes an impressive feat in this 60-minute one-woman drama — she makes us care about the fates of two young women who lead parallel lives of disenchantment in the big city.

The first is Mary Tyler Moore-style innocent trying to make a go of it as a salesgirl in a high-end jewelry store. The second is an engineer from the former Yugoslavia who is haunted by the ghosts of her homeland and is forced to work as a janitor.

Teeninga, a gorgeous brunette of about 30, expertly delineates the two characters, switching between them every few minutes. She also plays several supporting characters, most notably the jewelry store’s haughty female manager.

But it might be her writing that is Teeninga’s strongest suit. She wrings actual suspense from her humanistic story and displays a poet’s gift for simile. Stars shine in the night sky “like a million tiny opals” and a dying crow lies on the pavement, its wing “like a slick of oil.”

She employs little music and only a few props. She wastes no time on corny romantic subplots. She holds our attention with her talent alone. A four star show.

The Saddest Girl in the World: Fringe Review
By Julie Horbal, Winnipeg Sun

Natya moves from Kosovo to Canada for a new life. Canadian Ava longs for a better life. Laura is a bitchy diamond dealer who wants to forget her life. All three live the same city, but are worlds apart. Yet they cross paths seamlessly and sadly in a jewelry shop where none really belongs. The women — along with a host of other bit players including homeless woman, ignorant janitorial service owner and angry mother — are all brought to life by writer and actor Tina Teeninga, who moves effortlessly from optimist to pessimist to realist, trading accents almost by the minute.

Teeninga uses her time as an immigrant services volunteer to bring a face to the struggles of new Canadians and her experience as a Canadian woman to show that life — no matter where you come from or end up — is far from perfect. That said, none of the characters is truly the saddest girl in the world. And how each comes to realize it is a journey worth taking, even if the ride is a little long. A four star show.