WALLY COBERG, in Memoriam, 1948-2011 (Creator & Writer)

This project is dedicated to the legacy of Wally Coberg who died suddenly November 18, 2011 of a heart attack. He was at the time working on this film, a lifelong passion and pursuit. Wally was an award-winning designer and filmmaker. On stage his work has been seen in theatres nationwide, including Center Stage, Louisville Ballet, New York City Opera, as well as at the Virginia, Baltimore and Boston Operas. On the road audiences saw his sets for Dial 'M' for Murder starring Roddy McDowall, and on ice as part of Walt Disney's Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. He designed three productions in Las Vegas, while in the area of theme design created environments for Busch Gardens Tampa and Williamsburg, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Hollywood. He was the Assistant Designer to the Vienna State Opera and Salzburg Festival, as well as Resident Designer of The Opera Company of Boston. His knowledge of Christmas has been on display in retail centers around the world, as well as in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City productions of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the world famous Rockettes. As a filmmaker, his award-winning dramatic short, Incident, was seen on PBS and at the Kennedy Center, while his screenplay, Death Masque, was optioned by Martin Scorsese. As an educator he taught at Towson University, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Johns Hopkins University. A recipient of two Marcella Brenner Research Grants, Coberg also received a State of Maryland Governor's Citation for his commitment to preserving and promoting the legacy of Edgar Allan Poe.


ERIC STANGE (Producer, Writer, Director) is the Executive Producer of Spy Pond Productions. An award-winning independent documentary film producer, director, and writer who specializes in cultural and social history, his work has been broadcast on PBS, The Discovery Channel, and the BBC. Public television credits include The War That Made America, a dramatized documentary about the French and Indian War; Murder at Harvard, an "historical who-dunnit," that explores the process of historical inquiry through a compelling murder story (for American Experience).  He has been a research fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. He is a member of the editorial board of Common-Place, a web journal on early American history, and a visiting fellow with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.


JENNIFER PEARCE (Producer) is a freelance producer whose credits include  ‘WE SHALL REMAIN: Trail of Tears” for PBS’s American Experience,  “ The Great Famine” also for American Experience, “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women” for the PBS’s American Masters and “The Most Dangerous Woman in America” for NOVA as well as the four-part series for PBS, “The War That Made America.”  She enjoys the collaborative process of filmmaking, every project is truly a group effort from smart, creative and dedicated people.  She believes a good documentary can educate, entertain and inspire people to think and feel differently about themselves and the world around us.


BARBARA COSTA (Production Manager) has worked for 30 years as a project manager and multimedia producer of predominantly science and health subjects for online courses, public television documentaries, websites, educational videos, and museum programs and exhibits. She serves on the Arlington (MA) Commission on Arts & Culture, as well as the Board of the Arlington Center for the Arts.


BOYD ESTUS (Producer & Director of Photography) is a Director of Photography and Producer/ Director whose credits include the Academy Award-winning The Flight of the Gossamer Condor and the Academy Award nominee Eight Minutes to Midnight as well as many Emmy-winning television productions. His recent productions include Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind 'Little Women;' Woody Guthrie: I Ain't Got No Home (American Masters); At Home in Utopia (Independent Lens); Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman in America, Doctors' Diaries and Japan's Killer Quake (NOVA); Murder at Harvard, Annie Oakley, and Houdini (American Experience).

Additional Contributors

During the early stages of this project, creator Wally Coberg was supported by several consultants who contributed significantly to his efforts to write, submit and ultimately secure the original NEH Development Grant that helped launch the project.  Among them were:







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Copyright © 2015 Spy Pond Productions. All Rights Reserved.  

Produced in association with the Center for Independent Documentary.


This site was made possible by a grant from The Maryland Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities,

and by a grant from the Sylvan/Laureate Foundation.    

Archived Updates

October 31, 2014




We filmed actor Jeffrey Combs as he prepared to perform his one-man Poe play “Nevermore: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe” to a sold-out crowd at the Somerville Theater.  The play is written by Dennis Paoli and originally directed by Stuart Gordon. The Boston production was produced by Izzy Lee and Bryan Moore, and co-produced by Baltimorean and friend-of-Wally Mark Redfield.

October 5, 2014




We were there to document the event as the city of Boston celebrated the homecoming of one of its most famous – and contrarian -- native sons. Installed just a block from Poe’s birthplace, a life-size bronze statue sculpted by Vermont artist Stephanie Rocknak is proving to be the hottest selfie magnet in the city. Our project adviser Prof. Paul Lewis of Boston College was instrumental in bringing the Poe statue from dream to reality.  The unveiling ceremony included talks by Paul, project adviser Richard Kopley, and former Poet Laureate (and film interviewee) Robert Pinsky. One of our most important project supporters, Susan Tane, came for the event. A few weeks later, a Poe bust was unveiled at the Boston Public Library.

July 10, 2014




Director Eric Stange and DP Boyd Estus travel to Los Angeles to interview Roger Corman, the famous B-movie director and Poe popularizer. Corman’s five Poe-inspired films, four of which star Vincent Price, have helped keep Poe a household name for the past 50 years. We also interviewed Director Stuart Gordon, best-known for his adaptation of the Poe story The Black Cat.

June 4, 2014




American Masters, the acclaimed, multi-Emmy-award winning PBS arts and culture series, will be the broadcast venue for “The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe.” The new Executive Producer of American Masters Michael Kantor has been a longtime supporter of the project since Wally Coberg first approached him in 2009.




March 26, 2014




The National Endowment for the Humanities awards “The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe” a grant of  $500,000 – the highest level of support possible – to move forward with production. The panelists cited the film’s innovative and refreshing approach to Poe, and its exploration of Poe’s continuing pervasive influence on art and culture.

April 27, 2015




We are excited to announce that Tony-award-winning actor Denis O'Hare will be joining us to portray Edgar Allan Poe in Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive. A stage, television, and film actor, Denis is best known to television audiences for his roles on FX's American Horror Story, HBO's True Blood, and The Good Wife on CBS. We are looking forward to filming with him next month at Boston's Castle Island!