HAPS is a theater festival founded in 1996 as a manifestation, gathering mainly amateur theaters.
Since 2002, the festival and its longtime organizer and the award-winning Herceg Novi Theater have entered the process of professionalization, so since then professional theater artists and ensembles have taken part in the event. In recent years, in the co-production of this festival, a strong link has been established between the main cultural institution in Herceg Novi, the JUK Herceg Fest, and the non-governmental organization Herceg Novi Theater, with the aim of improving the production of the festival.
From its inception to the present day, HAPS has changed the concept - from an initial survey of amateur theaters in the former Yugoslavia, it became at some point an opportunity to view selected regional professional productions. The festival program consists of high-quality theatrical performances, as well as a varied accompanying program. HAPS has a renaissance character, the selection of plays with a thematic definition tends to mobilize the audience in the perception of theatrical achievement to participate in the comparison of works of different forms and approaches to the topic. Starting with the 25th edition held in 2020 (HAPS at the time of the crown), the festival has especially promoted radio dramaturgy. The memorial plaque "Milos Shami" is awarded for a special contribution to the approval of the April Theater Festival in Herceg Novi. Since its foundation in 2001, it has been awarded by: Elisaveta Seka Sablic, Luba Tadic, Petar Kral, Predrag Eidus, City Theater from Podgorica, Youth Theater from Novi Sad, Varja Djukic, Mirko Vlahovic, Pero Kvrgich, Zia Sokolovicha, Dragana. Dabovic, Branimir Popovic, Voin Chetkovic, Slobodan Milatovic, Vojislav Voia Brajovic, Sarajevo National Theater ... Over the years, HAPS has become a favorite of the participants, the public and the media.