The work is exclusively based on text excerpts from the novel. The eleven short scenes, interrupted by three ‘Dream Audio Plays’, follow this basic framework: Jakob von Gunten, the son of ‘good family’, is admitted to the Benjamenta Institute, an educational home for servants where the pupils learn ‘little, but thoroughly’. Jakob describes his comrades, their views and plans for the future. Within the strange atmosphere of the house, murky and barely articulated desires and moods unfold. While Jakob is drawn towards his fellow pupil, Kraus, he dreams of Miss Lisa, the director’s sister, with whom he has secret conversations. Benjamenta himself is impressed with Jakob. Finally, things take a turn for the worse in the home: Lisa dies and Benjamenta dismisses all of the pupils except for Jakob, who he asks to join him on his journey into the world. After pondering the idea for a while, he agrees.