This is an edited version of the paper specially written for and first published in the Journal of the Standing Conference of Young People’s Theatre, Spring, 1980. It was reprinted in Collected Writings, pp. 160–9, and is perhaps the best known of all Heathcote’s writings. It has been acknowledged as influencing a generation of practitioners in the field of Theatre in Education. Heathcote considers the common denominators that apply when working in role and the ways in which this approach can empower both the teacher and the students. She discusses the significance of ‘sign’ in both theatre and classroom, and the value of conventions in T.I.E and drama in education.