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Article updated: 3/1/2013 4:51 PM

Nonprofit Geneva theater to close

By Susan Sarkauskas

The Geneva Underground Playhouse has closed because it could not raise enough money to continue, operators of the nonprofit theater announced.

It was housed in the Stanton Building at 524 W. State St. since May 2009. The group produced its first show, however, in the fall of 2008, "Inherit the Wind." It was done with the Kane County Bar Association, to celebrate the association's 150th anniversary.

The 50-seat theater had 16 main-stage shows, and 11 shows produced by other organizations. It hosted or produced four new plays by local authors, and hosted children's seminars.

GUP also worked on the "Demisemiseptcentennial Extravatacular" with the Geneva History Center, celebrating Geneva's 175th anniversary, hosted movie screenings for Swedish Days, and helped with "Dancing With the Geneva Stars," according to the prepared statement released Thursday by its president, Eric Prebys.

The statement acknowledged Joseph Stanton, its landlord, as its biggest sponsor, and said the closing was by mutual agreement.

"Without Joe's generosity and help, we would not have survived as long as we did," said Steve Lord, GUP treasurer, in the statement.

"Unfortunately, we're unable to see a path to making the theater financially viable on a reasonable time scale," said Prebys.

Other sponsors included the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission, the Urban Grille restaurant, and the Kane County Cougars. The restaurant donated seats, and rehearsal space in its banquet room as well.

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