After study at Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts, Esther cut her dramatic teeth with Silo Theatre’s Ensemble Project. This was followed by The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Auckland Theatre Company), She Stoops To Conquer (Auckland Theatre Company), and The Threepenny Opera (Silo) before landing the core cast role of Olivia in TV comedy/drama Go Girls.
Esther is currently best known as Ngaire Monroe from the TV3 series Westside. Other TV credits include Underbelly New Zealand, House Husbands, The Dr Blake Mysteries and WW1 mini-series, When We Go To War. Esther played Kate Sheppard in new musical, That Bloody Woman at the Christchurch Arts Festival 2015 – a role she reprised in 2016 for Auckland Theatre Company and The Court Theatre.
As a vocalist, Esther first came to public attention in 2012 for her vocals on the hit self-titled album from hip hop outfit Homebrew. Esther was namesake of neo-soul group Esther Stephens & The Means. The band released their self-titled debut album in April 2015, followed by a nationwide tour, and two NZ On Air funded music videos. They were part of the Red Bull Sound Select Young, Gifted & Broke roster alongside Team Dynamite and Third 3ye, have supported international acts including Flatbush Zombies (US), Panama (AUS), & Azizi Gibson (US), and performed at the 2015 Silver Scroll Awards.
Esther has performed solo at Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, and in 2016 appeared as a headline vocalist with both the Christchurch Symphony and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestras.