Under the direction of the GSU's Division of Communication, Visual and Performing Arts and its new Theatre and Performance Studies program, the Theatre and Performance Studies High School Theatre Collaborative (HSTC) launched in the summer of 2015.

HSTC produces inspiring and entertaining theatre that helps young actors enhance their craft through active learning experiences and collaborations with Governors State University, area high schools, and the community.

Each spring, high school theatre groups may submit a production proposal to GSU with the program that they wish to present in the summer. The TAPS program staff will review proposals and select a different partner each year.

The Collaborative's summer program will focus on theatre craft, and depending upon a student's specific assignment, can include acting, set design, costuming, lighting, and more. After weeks of intensive rehearsals at partnering high schools, HSTC faculty, staff, students, and members of the community will spend two weeks at Governors State University rehearsing and preparing for the culmination of the program, a full scale production on the stage of the  Center for Performing Arts in July.

Along with its annual summer production, HSTC will offer in-school theatre workshops, information sessions and outreach programs for high school aged youth who are interested in pursuing theatre or performance as a career path.


Governors State University's first theatre collaborative initiative launched in 2008, as the Southland Area Theatre Ensemble (SLATE). This partnership with Homewood Flossmoor High School has given countless community and student actors training and public exposure for their talents. The actors have built sets, rehearsed, and performed in many productions at GSU's Center for Performing Arts including large summer musicals and intimate performances in a cabaret setting. Past summer productions included Into the Woods, The Wedding Singer, Ragtime, Forbidden Broadway, Legally Blond, HAIR, and In the Heights.

In 2014, The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved Theatre and Performance Studies as a Bachelor's Degree at GSU; the only such degree combining the two disciplines at a state university in Illinois. The program, under the direction of Patrick Santoro,Ph.D., has staged works of poetry (Anne Sexton's "Transformations"), musical theatre ("A…My Name is Alice"), a docudrama ("Still Life"), and classic drama (Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun") a dark comedy ("Kimberly Akimbo"), and most recently Ray Bradbury’s "Fahrenheit 451". 

The Theatre and Performance Studies program at GSU:

  • Invests in the art of storytelling
  • Bridges the verbal with the visual, theory with practice
  • Develops artistic abilities, sensibilities, and creativities with integrity, confidence, and critical thought
  • Equips students to experience performance as a transformative agent of social, cultural, political, and personal change

The TAPS High School Theatre Collaborative invites high school and college students to explore theatre with the support and mentorship of GSU's professional educators and unique program perspective.

Submit a Production Proposal to HSTC

To stay connected, "like" us at: facebook.com/TAPSGSU.