YAOT Study Guide

Casa Alfonsa

Book and Lyrics by Diana Grisanti

Music by Emiliano Messiez

Directed by Ismael Lara Jr.

Cousins Lila and Fernando belong to the third generation of a busy restaurant family. They spend their days together, doing homework in the kitchen and making Shirley Temples behind the bar. It’s a pretty good life! That is, until their beloved grandmother, Alfonsa, passes away. Not only was Alfonsa an amazing chef, but she was also the glue that held the family together. Now her grown children—Lila’s mom and Fernando’s dad—won’t stop fighting. It’s up to the cousins (and of course, Alfonsa’s ghost!) to help the grownups navigate their grief, regulate their emotions, and keep the restaurant afloat. Casa Alfonsa is an upbeat musical featuring song, dance, and many, many puppets.

Tortillas and the Art of Nixtamalizacion 

“For the corn to undergo a scientific process known as nixtamalization, o sea nixtamalizacion, in which the endosperm gets broken down, facilitating the absorption of calcium and niacin, rendering the grain much healthier than it was before, and also allowing for the binding of the dough.” –Casa Alfonsa

Mama Poncha used Nixtamalizacion to make her famous tortillas. Does your family have any special recipes?

Try making your own fresh tortillas! Follow the directions below.


There are many puppets in Casa Alfonsa who play different characters! Can you make your own puppet? Download the outline below to make your own puppet!

“You’re the one who stopped talking to me! You left, remember? You walked out on the restaurant!”

In Casa Alfonsa, siblings Naty and Ramon have a big disagreement.

How do you handle a disagreement or argument with a sibling, friend, or classmate? How can you find a solution together?

Some examples of solutions might be: Asking a grown-up for help, Taking a deep breath, Finding a compromise, Expressing how you feel, etc. Work with a partner to act out a disagreement and a solution.

For younger learners: Tell a partner about a time you had a disagreement with someone. How did it make you feel?

How can you tell someone how you are feeling about a disagreement? Try starting with, “I feel…”

After watching Casa Alfonsa, how do you think Naty and Ramon should handle their disagreement? How can they find a solution together?


“Building a Feelings Vocabulary”

Click the link below to download your copy of CRT’s “Building a Feelings Vocabulary” Lesson Plan to continue discussions with your students following performances of Casa Alfonsa.