Ingmar Bergman kept my attention throughout the entire film. Persona was an amazing drawing in motion, a constant, perfect fluid composition, and absolutely fascinating. I feel like some viewers might find some of the scenes to be awkward, but I feel like that brings harmony to what I found to be close to perfect visually. I found the relationship between the two women to be at first, just professional, at was more an introduction which seemed normal. But I quickly became annoyed with the actress because she was not speaking at all. She was offering nothing to the nurse, and this eventually pushed the nurse over the edge. But this dynamic brought the story full circle at one point. When the nurse started spilling her guts, it became obvious that she was not so much different from the "artist" as she thought artists were sensitive and compassionate. When she let her guard down, and became any less than professional, she became vulnerable like the actress. And the actress for a moment became the nurse.
I felt that there were certain things repeating themselves through out the film, such as cigarettes. They both smoked cigarettes all the time as if they were drinking water. There are some connotations that could go along with that, such as coping with stress or boredom. It actually seemed to me like they were very comfortable with each other for a while. Perhaps they were smoking a lot so that there was an action, to keep the film moving(lets face it, there wasn't much dialogue, and most of it was only the nurse speaking, and I appreciated this very much.)
The actress was treated as though she were playing a silent role as a scientist observing another human. I thought it was sad when the nurse realized she was being treated as a specimen, but at the same time, I know I'm guilty of making observations(if that is something to be guilty of.) As for what theater could represent, I think it represents a platform on which to base lies and fallacy. The actress had built up to many lies in the theater, that she wanted to speak and act no more. So she ceased to speak.