Berwick woman donates vintage hats, dress to BU

For immediate release: Aug. 12, 2009

BLOOMSBURG — There was a time when a well-dressed woman would not leave home without a hat to match her ensemble. Actors in upcoming Bloomsburg University Players productions set in that era will be properly accessorized, thanks to the generosity of a Berwick resident.

Marietta Episcopo recently donated 27 vintage hats and a 1960s maxi dress in a bright floral print to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's department of music, theatre and dance. The hats, many purchased in Wilkes-Barre, belonged to her mother who died 15 years ago. "She was a dressmaker," Episcopo said. "She would wear the hats to go to church. I sewed for myself and made the dress to wear to my daughter’s confirmation. I wore it just once."

The hats range from the asymmetrical sweep of the 1930s to sculptured styles of the 1950s and the neon hues of the 1960s.

"Mrs. Episcopo's main concern was that the hats get used," said Sarah Stuble, BU's costume workshop manager and a 2002 BU graduate. "Her mother had impeccable taste. The quality is amazing and these hats have been beautifully preserved," Stuble said. "We're hoping to produce a show from this period soon so we can get them on stage."

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.