9 GRAMS Maisha Yearwood

About This Show

9 GRAMS is the story of Maisha Yearwood’s imprisonment in Bakirkoy Prison in Istanbul, Turkey in 2009. Maisha was living in Tel Aviv, Israel and was returning to New York City to attend her Uncle’s Funeral and 15 year college reunion. She had a layover in Istanbul when 9 grams of hashish was found in her pocket and she was arrested. She was put into solitary confinement because she is an OUT lesbian and the warden didn’t want her to be “disruptive” to the other prisoners. She lived in a 9×10 foot cell from May 23, 2009 – August 23, 2009.

About the artists

MAISHA YEARWOOD is a Harlem native and a Hollywood screenwriter who has been writing and developing sitcoms and feature films for 20 years. She has written and developed for Warner Bros., Fox Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, ABC Family, Artisan Entertainment, and Discovery Channel. She received her MFA from the American Film Institute and a certificate in screenwriting from UCLA, Film and Television School. She is currently working on a transmedia project around her play 9 Grams. The play recounts her experience in solitary confinement in Istanbul, Turkey. S. Epatha Merkerson is set to direct the play.

S. EPATHA MERKERSON is an American film, stage, and television actress who has won a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Obie Awards and four NAACP Image Awards. She has also received two Tony Award nominations. She is best known for her role as NYPD Lieutenant Anita Van Buren from 1993 to 2010 on the long-running NBC police procedural drama series Law& Order. She is the longest running African American character in an American television drama. In 2015, she was cast as the Head of the Hospital Sharon Goodwin on NBC’s Chicago Med.

Friday, January 20 at 7:30pm

General Admission

$15 in advance

$18 at the door



Estimated Runtime
60 minutes

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Produced by

Rick Azar, Dr. Robin J. Hayes, Ahmed Yearwood

Directed by

S. Epatha Merkerson

Written by

Maisha Yearwood