London, at the end of the 19th Century. Esther Kahn lives in the East End, her parents are Jewish migrants, they all work in the family sweatshop.
Esther is slow and stubborn, she never has an opinion about anything, she never feels anything for anybody: she's a stone.
Yet she forces us to consider questions usually reserved for philosophers: if I am capable of dreaming, how can I know that the world exists? What if all we do is imitate life? Where will "real life" happen?
But as hard as she tries to imitate others, Esther comes to realize that this isn't the way to become a person.
Then, once in the theatre Esther "wakes up", she comes to life: because she doesn't watch the play like others do, she lives it.
Esther decides to become an actress.
She now begins to learn ho