Maisha Yearwood

9 GRAMS is the story of Ayeesha Freeman who is racially profiled traveling into Istanbul, Turkey and arrested as a drug trafficker for having 9 Grams of hashish on her person.
Project Status:In development. Talking with Regina King and Brad Pitt about producing the limited series.
Project Description:

9 GRAMS is the story of Ayeesha Freeman who is a Hollywood screenwriter who has been living in Tel Aviv, Israel with her Israeli girlfriend Rotem. She's traveling home for the week to attend her Uncle's funeral and her 15 year college reunion when she's stopped on her layover in Istanbul, Turkey. She is racially profiled and arrested as a drug trafficker for having 9 Grams of hashish on her person.

In prison, she is placed in solitary and unable to make a phone call for a month. A woman from the American Consulate visits her and explains that she's never seen anyone placed in prison for such a small amount of drugs but it's not their country. She also explains that Ayeesha will have to wait 1 to 3 months to find out when her court date will be.

Prison is MISERY for Ayeesha although she does a ton of writing while there. Writing keeps her from going crazy. It keeps her ALIVE. She writes 3 feature films and 2 episodes of the series ENTOURAGE. Writing frees her from isolation and imprisonment.


"MAISHA YEARWOOD is a Harlem native and a Hollywood writer who has been writing and developing sitcoms and feature films for 26 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 the UCLA Film and Television School.

Maisha is currently a Playwright and producer for the multi-platform project 9 GRAMS, which follows a Hollywood screenwriter who endures solitary confinement in a Turkish prison. Based on a true story, the project unfolds across a one woman play, feature documentary and interactive experience.

In Spring 2018 Maisha worked as an Adjunct professor at Hofstra University teaching Introduction to Screenwriting for students majoring in Film. Most recently Maisha was hired as a Consulting Producer on the show HARLEM CODES. The show was halted because of the Covid pandemic and was never produced."

A Little Extra

How has your process changed over time?

I've continued writing daily. I went to graduate school at the American Film Instititue Conservatory.

Back To Top

The Orchard Project (OP) is a preeminent artistic development laboratory and accelerator for creators of performance and dramatic stories.

Where to find us

PO Box 237091

New York, NY 10023

646 760 6767 x 101