HAPS is a theater festival launched in 1996 as a manifestation that gathered mostly amateur theates.
Since 2002, the festival and its long-term organizer and titular Herceg Novi Theater have been entering the process of professionalization, so that the event has since included a gathering of professional theater artists and ensembles. In recent years, a strong link has been established in the co-production of this festival between the main institution of culture in Herceg Novi, JUK Herceg Fest, and the NGO Herceg Novi Theater, with the aim of better production of the festival.
From its founding until today, HAPS has changed the concept - from the original review of amateur theaters of the former Yugoslavia, it has become at one point an opportunity to review selected regional professional productions. The program of the festival consists of quality theater performances, as well as a diverse accompanying program. HAPS has a revival character, the selection of plays with a thematic definition tends to mobilize the audience in the perception of theatrical achievements to engage in comparing works of different forms and approaches to the theme. Since the 25th edition held in 2020 (HAPS at the time of the crown), the festival has been especially promoting radio drama. The "Milos Shami" plaque is awarded for a special contribution to the affirmation of the Herceg Novi April Theater Festival. Since its establishment in 2001, it has been awarded to: Jelisaveta Seka Sablić, Ljuba Tadić, Petar Kralj, Predrag Ejdus, City Theater from Podgorica, Youth Theater from Novi Sad, Varja Đukić, Mirko Vlahović, Pero Kvrgić, Zijah Sokolović, Dragana Daca Dabović , Branimir Popović, Vojin Ćetković, Slobodan Milatović, Vojislav Voja Brajović, National Theater Sarajevo… Providing over the years with performances, accompanying content and a good atmosphere, HAPS has become a ‘favorite’ of participants, audiences and the media.