ELEONORA
I was inspired by your performance. But didn't you ever want to try new ways of expression?
 
SARAH
I worked hard to perfect my art. I spent years refining my every move until each one was just right. Why would I want to change anything?

ELEONORA
To keep your performances fresh and true.
 
SARAH
My performances were true.  

ELEONORA
I never liked to repeat myself. I vary the details in every performance. I draw on experiences I've had during the day~perhaps something I saw while walking through the park~something unexpected one of the actors does in performance~maybe simply how I feel in the moment. I look for new truth in the role I am playing.

SARAH
The audience comes to the theater with expectations. One can't disappoint them.

ELEONORA
That's not acting! That's posing.
 
SARAH (Angry)
I may not have aspired to your kind of theater, Eleonora, but at least I didn't make a hash of my love life.
 
ELEONORA (Equally angry)
I didn't sleep with the entire continent of Europe.

SARAH
I wouldn't trade a single one of my affairs for any of the prolonged fits of melancholy and despair you called love. And besides, you had terrible taste in men.
  
ELEONORA (Furious and deeply hurt)
How dare you!  You, of all people, criticize me for my choice of lovers. (Beat) Have you come to apologize?
 
SARAH
I have nothing to apologize for.
 
ELEONORA
Have you forgotten Paris?  
 
SARAH
Are we still arguing over that silly affair?  I can barely remember it.
 
ELEONORA
I will never forgive you for what you did.

SARAH
Perhaps I was a bit inconsiderate.  But you provoked me.

ELEONORA
You betrayed me!

SARAH
Is that what this is all about?  That was long ago. We were young then, you and I and... that man...your friend...the poet.

ELEONORA
I came to you full of love.
 
SARAH
You came to me full of burning ambition determined to take my place as the world's leading actress.

ELEONORA
And you tried to destroy me.

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Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet