"Charles Gardner, a charismatic young actor impressively forging his career with this role."

 Chicago Sun-Times

"Played, in what should be a career-making performance, with blistering emotional intensity by Charles Gardner" 

Chicago Tribune

"As the eye of the storm, Charles Gardner delivers a chilling and persuasive performance as Otha Jeffries, a man so twisted by society and his own demons that he is a menace to his family and to society at large."

Stage and Cinema

Part of the captivation was the volatile performance by Charles Gardner (Otha).  Gardner is a hot-tempered, non-compliant inmate.  He perfectly represents victims of the failed system.  He is untrusting and unpleasant.  He is his worst enemy!  In moments of raw emotion, Gardener confronts his father or describes his own abuse.  Later, Gardener plays his lighthearted teenage son.  Wow, what a range!  Gardner dominates this stage.

Chicago Now