Rocky Mountain PBS in the Community

Rocky Mountain PBS is pleased to partner with our community to create a series of fun “community commercials." Colorado is a place full of creative individuals, and we’re thrilled to showcase some of their talents here. "Therapy Sessions" is just one of these commercials to feature Rocky Mountain PBS supporters acting in a community environment. Here we feature real members with the passion, devotion, and drive (wink) to engage with Colorado's only statewide television station. We are grateful to them -- and for you!

“Therapy Session" Features:

“Patient” played by Frieda Sanidas Leason
A native of Antwerp, Belgium, Frieda is currently Colorado's honorary consul emeritus for France. She has called Denver home since 1961. She is married to novelist Barney Leason and has two sons and five grandchildren. Frieda is a talented thespian and locals can often see her on stage, performing in French or English. Frieda is a member of the Rocky Mountain PBS Cornerstone Society. 

“Therapist” – played by Barney Leason
A member of the Cornerstone Society, Barney is an ex-journalist, foreign correspondent, and former West Coast editor of "Look" magazine. He published his first book, best-selling "Rodeo Drive", in 1981 and produced four more best-sellers: "Scandals", "Passions", "Grand Illusions", and "Fortunes", along with "North Rodeo Drive", "Rich and Reckless", and "Richer Than Sin" --- all greatly entertaining novels chronicling intrigue, passion, and power games. His novel "Grand Cru", published in 2001, blends satire, investigative reporting, and high comedy in the California wine country. "Shredded" published in 2003 is a mysterious, scandalous, and playful romp through the publishing business with literary agent Phil Ford and his partner (and ex-wife) Gwen Mather. With several new novels in the works, Barney is a natural storyteller, a keen observer of social mores, and a bottomless well of creativity. "L.A. Magazine" once aptly described him as "The Balzac of Beverly Hills." You will find his new work full of great stories, fascinating people, and irresistible relationships.

"On The Bus" Features: 

“Downton Lady” played by Joanie Grier
Joanie moved to Colorado from New York in 1973. She is a retired lingerie designer and has been involved with Rocky Mountain PBS since 2009. Joanie has also served as a Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters for the past 15 years. Along with her husband Bill, she is a member of Rocky Mountain PBS’s Cornerstone Society and was a sponsor of our Jazz Concert Series in 2010, 2011, and 2012. As an avid jazz lover, she was fittingly cast with 2 of Denver’s Jazz Greats.

“Grandpa” – played by Charlie Burrell
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1920, Charles Burrell has been referred to as the Jackie Robinson of classical music. He is an internationally acclaimed contrabass player and one of the first African-American musicians to break the color barrier in a major U.S. symphony. He has taught, mentored, and inspired musicians throughout the world. Here’s more about him in a clip from “Jazz in Five Points”, produced by Rocky Mountain PBS. Click here to see the clip! 

“The Bus Driver” played by Purnell Steen
Purnell Steen is an accomplished pianist and the leader of "Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine," who are favorites at Denver night clubs, private events and Jazz Festivals. “Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine” plays everything from standards to originals.  Among his numerous awards, he was the recipient of the 2010-2011 Jazz in 5 Points Award. Pianist Purnell Steen plays a variety of styles, primarily jazz/dance standards. He plays solo and up to a 7-piece ensemble with vocalist. 

“Passengers” played by Lyle "Pookie" DeRose & Aeon Cruz
Pookie is 50 year old truck driver by trade with a Chris Farley personality and intimidating biker looks.  Aeon plays bass in the progressive hard rock band “Glass Delirium”. Both are aspiring actors and volunteers for Rocky Mountain PBS.

Public Television partners with Public transportation!
RTD generously donated the use of the bus and driver. Get where you want to go with more than 140 Local, Express and Regional bus routes serving 10,000 bus stops, five light rail lines providing 35 miles of light rail service and more than 70 Park-n-Rides.  RTD's services include bus, light rail, Call-n-Ride and SkyRide to SportsRides. More info at