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Benge Family Papers

Identifier: P-0106

Scope and Content

The collection is primarily composed of documents relating to Sharon and William D. Benge. They are long-time patrons of the arts in North Texas. She is a producer and director of plays, as well as a planner and coordinator of large events. He is a marketing and public relations businessman with a wide range of talents. This collection, which represents the broad spectrum of performing arts in the North Texas region, includes memorabilia, programs, photographs, legal documents, and various films and audio. The extent of the collection is 20 boxes (8.28 linear feet).


  • 1958 - 2005

Biographical Information

Sharon Benge is a professor emerita of Texas Woman’s University where she served as director of the university’s theater program from 2000 to 2014. For 24 years she was co-host of Art Matters on WRR Radio (101.1 FM) beginning in in 1988. From 1990 to 2012, she was the performing arts coordinator for the annual MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival. She has directed and/ or produced over 150 plays at theatres throughout the state of Texas and presented productions in Prague, Czech Republic; Dublin, Ireland; The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and New York. She produced RetroFest, a local festival aimed at educating the public about specific time periods using various art and theatre companies, from 1994 to 2001. The founding director of Fort Worth’s Shakespeare in the Park, Sharon has also served in artistic and administrative capacities at Casa Manana Playhouse, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, the Dallas Theater Center and Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theater. She has been honored by the Live Theater League of Tarrant County with both their Elston Brooks Award for Excellence and their Educator of the Year Award. She received similar accolades from the City of Fort Worth, the Arts and Business Connection, the Fort Worth Business Press and the Altrusa Club. In 2014, she was presented the Lifetime Achievement award by The Arts Council of Fort Worth. Her husband, William D. (Bill) Benge had his own marketing and public relations firm and supported Sharon throughout the years in many of her endeavors.

Sources: Updated information supplied by Bill Benge April 4, 2018.


9.93 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Benge Family Papers date from 1958–2005, and are arranged in five series.

Series I, Casa Manana, 1958-2003 is arranged by subject, then chronologically. The series contains general information, production paraphernalia, and photographs of the Casa Manana theatre.

Series II, Dr. Francine Reese Morrison, 1975-1999, is arranged by subject, then chronologically, and consists of legal papers, correspondence, memorabilia and photographs of the gospel singer/minister’s life.

Series III, Programs, 1993-2005, is arranged alphabetically by group, then chronologically and contains memorabilia related to the various productions the Benge family attended.

Series IV, RetroFest, 1988-2004, is arranged by year of the festival, subject, and then chronologically. It consists of general information, marketing documents, and other paraphernalia related to the festival.

Series V, Shakespeare in the Park, 1977- 2001, is arranged by subject, then chronologically, and contains general information, marketing documents, and production memorabilia of the festival.

Materials Removed List

The materials removed from the Benge Family Papers include duplicate photographs, programs, documents, cassette tapes, newspaper clippings, and flyers, as well as empty folders, paperweights, and binders.

Benge Family Papers
July 2007
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Fort Worth Public Library Archives Repository

500 West 3rd Street
Fort Worth Texas 76102