“I have laboured carefully, not to mock, lament or execrate, but to understand human actions.” -Baruch Spinoza
Considered one of the greatest thinkers of The Netherlands, Baruch Spinoza, has come to personify the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. A product of Amsterdam’s religious tolerance in the 17th century, his philosophy helped lay the foundation for our modern moral and democratic political landscape.
Traversing the canals and alleyways of Amsterdam one is frequently reminded of his ubiquitous influence: from streets to statues, lyceums to lecture halls, all named in his honour.
His portrait has graced the thousand guilder note and the highest award in Dutch academia bears his name but what do we know about him? What shaped his philosophy? Why do his ideas resonate today?
In Why Spinoza?, Harpert Michielsen brings you a thought-provoking and illuminating performance, balancing seriousness with satire, to tell the story of one of the world’s foremost philosophers.
Harpert Michielsen, graduated from the Maastricht Drama Academy in 1998, after studying history at the University of Amsterdam. He began his acting career, playing with renowned theatre companies such as, De Trust and Het Nationale Toneel, and De Toneelschuur. He has gone ahead to appear on stage and screen, including the musical Soldaat van Oranje, international films and, many well-known Dutch television series. Now, Harpert combines his passion for history and acting, to create Stand-up History: intimate performances about special Amsterdammers, who have influenced our lives in countless ways. The play has been on tour throughout The Netherlands and Belgium, and is now translated for English speaking audiences, worldwide.
The performance lasts about 1 hour without intermission!